Thursday, November 30, 2006


“It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness."
~ Paul Strand.

A PKK guerilla wears a traditional Kurdish scarf over his face. (AFP/David Furst)

Carrying light weapons, PKK guerrillas walk in formation during military exercises in the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region. (AFP/David Furst)

PKK guerrillas gather for a debriefing by their commander following military exercises. (AFP/David Furst)

PKK guerrillas storm a hilltop as they conduct military exercises in the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region. High in the mountains of northern Iraq, the Kurdish fighters of the Kurdistan Workers Party expressed defiance over the comments of Iraqi and Turkish officials about removing the guerilla organization from its bases. (David Furst/AFP)

Along the border : A PKK guerilla fighter walks into a stone hut.
(AFP/David Furst)

PKK guerrilla fighters and female activists sip tea in a stone hut.
(AFP/David Furst)

A PKK guerilla watches as comrades haul supplies to their base in the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region.
(AFP/David Furst)

A PKK female guerilla and her male counterparts storm a hilltop during conduct military exercises in the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region. (AFP/David Furst)

PKK guerrilla fighters and female activists take notes during a lecture on the history of women's rights through civilization in the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region 21 November 2006. (AFP/David Furst)

PKK female guerillas fire a rifle during military exercises in the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region. In a part of the world known for the subordination of women, nowhere do females play a greater role than in the ranks of this Kurdish movement.
(AFP/David Furst)

A PKK female guerilla fires a rocket- propelled grenade during military exercises in the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region 18 November 2006. With their camps in the mountains and an emphasis on education and equality, the PKK aims to offer an alternative model for Kurdish and Middle Eastern women. (AFP/David Furst)

A Kurdish militiaman inspects weapons at a camp in the foothills of the Qandil Mountains.
(AFP/Ali Al-Saadi)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”
~ Adolf Hitler.

The propaganda machine is working overtime lately, something that Hevallo noticed, too. Since he's been keeping an eye on the propaganda, he pointed something out to me titled "The Coming Coup d'Etat" from Newsweek that's being carried by the hevals at KurdishInfo. Thanks, Hevallo.

My gut reaction is that this piece of propaganda has been designed to bolster support for the Pashas. Why? Well, because the focus of the article is the Islamists (AKP), which is a way of pushing the hot button on the War on Terror® scam and being relatively assured of getting the proper knee-jerk reaction from the Americans.

It's kinda odd, isn't it, that the article never mentions the fact that it was the Pashas who brought the Islamists? Turkish-Islamic synthesis, mid-1980s, Turgut Ozal (member of the Gulen Gang) and the Pashas negotiated the synthesis, and suddenly religious classes became required in the state schools of the secular Turkish democracy.

We all know that Turkey is neither secular nor a democracy; "secular democracy" is a subset of classic War on Terror® propaganda. Under this subset, Turkey becomes a sympathetic victim in the eyes of millions of ignorant people in the West. Under this argument, Turkey's a "secular democracy" becomes "threatened" by Islamists--the very same Islamists with which the Pashas negotiated a sort of power-sharing arrangement. The power-sharing arrangement conveniently permitted the Pashas (and Tansu Ciller) to arm Turkish Hezbollah from TSK installations in "The Kurdish Region," so that Turkish Hezbollah could fight PKK. Stupidly, the Pashas thought they could control Turkish Hezbollah.

It all began to spin badly out of control and a lot of Turkey's current problems (the black operations) are a result of the Pashas' efforts to regain control of the state. Naturally, the Islamists (AKP) resist because they want to control the state. The Islamists give the impression that they would be different than the Pashas, but they won't be. They can't be, because they grew up under the Pashas, the only thing they know is the Pashas, and they negotiated their official existence with the Pashas. They will be the same way. Read things that Gulen writes. Better yet, check out this:

Writing in an article entitled “A Comparative Approach Islam and Democracy, Gülen pronounces, “The Prophet says that all people are as equal as the teeth of a comb. Islam does not discriminate based on race, color, age, nationality, or physical traits. The Prophet declared: ‘You are all from Adam, and Adam is from earth. O servants of God, be brothers [and sisters].’ Those who are born earlier, have more wealth and power than others, or belong to certain families or ethnic groups have no inherent right to rule others” (Gülen 2001). However, Fethullah goes further to claim that Islam can be best represented only by the Turks, thus claiming the superiority of the Turks. When a Kurd says, “I am a Kurd and a Muslim,” then it seems he is insulting his hearer. The Kurd will be chastised for establishing his identity in terms of his ethnicity and be challenged to think of himself as a Muslim only, united with his Islamic brotherhood as the Qur’an requires. If he claims a shared allegiance to his ethnic heritage, he will be asked, “Why are you prejudiced?” and be told, “We are all brothers,” a tranquilizer numbing his followers into submission. Yet, this same examiner will never stand for the rights of this “brother.” Instead, as always, Kurds will be oppressed while the religious demagogies keep silent with the same tactics. When it comes to the Kurdish question, when it comes to many questions about the Kurds, the examiner will note that they are caught in the fire and continue to burn — illiteracy is high, the mortality rate is high, and unemployment is high. Many Kurds are living with their cattle in the winter because they cannot afford to buy enough coal or wood to provide heat for their children during the freezing winter. When the military served as the major police force in that impoverished region, they raped many Kurdish women and killed children and older people as well. These advocates of homogeneity and opponents of racism tried to turn attention to their Muslim brotherhood, pointing to the injustice in Chechnya, Bosnia, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Algeria.

Is Gulen any different than the Pashas? Hell, no. He's a fascist too.

If the Islamists gained full power over everything, including the Pashas, would they be any different as far as Kurds go? No. The reason AKP appears at times to take a softer line toward Kurds is because they want to be able to say to all of Turkey, "Look! We brought peace to the land." That would give them one up on the Pashas, while at the same time proving that the Pashas are impotent. That's like lining the Pashas up on the top of Mount Cudi and pushing them off, one by one. Pashas are never going to allow that. Hence, the tension.

Tension . . . yeah, that's what the Pashas fall back on: the "strategy of tension," an old Gladio tactic and the one the Pashas know best. The "strategy of tension" was used by the Italian Gladio in the late 1960s and early 1970s during much social unrest and growth in electoral support for the Left but, above all, for the Communists:

The neo-Fascist terrorists groups of this period were a backlash against all this left wing activity and also against the emergence of left wing terrorist groups such as the Red Brigades .terrorists of the right .... often planted bombs in public places which killed dozens of innocent bystanders and passers-by . All this was part of a so-called 'strategy of tension' , a campaign designed to lead to a breakdown of law and order and consequent collapse of public confidence in democratically elected government , precipitating a takeover by the army.

There's a little more about the strategia della tensione at Wikipedia.

The Pashas' strategy of tension, "precipitating a takeover by the army," creates the justification for them to run around shrieking about how the "secular democracy" in Turkey (that doesn't exist) is in danger.

The reference to the Turkish constitution in the Newsweek propaganda is a big, fat red herring. Who wrote the constitution? The Pashas! Of course they will place themselves in an indispensible position vis-a-vis the constitution. The Turkish constitution needs to be burned and replaced by a real one written by a civilian government over which the military has no control. Time for a hypocrisy check: How many Westerners would submit to a constitution written by generals and specifically designed to protect the state from the citizens?

But there isn't a new constitution anywhere on the horizon. The EU has not even pointed out the hypocrisy of the Turkish constitution, with its defense of the state from the people, but appears content with "harmonization package" mumbo-jumbo.

Besides, there's always the strategy of tension to create a phony crisis. Everything that has happened since Semdinli is exactly the kind of stuff that happened before the 1980 coup. And let's be aware that the soft coup (1997) was not against an Islamist threat. The soft coup was a cover-your-ass operation because Susurluk had its roots among the Pashas and their Deep State.

The nonsense about DC reaching out to the Islamists is just that: Nonsense. In reality the Islamists have been begging the US to support AKP over the Pashas. Remember Cuneyd Zapsu, back in March, sitting in the holy shrine of the AEI, begging the neocons for help, begging them to use Erdogan? See Item 1e on that. And Cuneyd is one of AKP's boys in the ATC, too.

In the Newsweek propaganda, it's the Pashas begging Washington to use them through the voice of Zeyno Baran. Funny name. She must be a great granddaughter of that other well-known "Kurd," Ismet Inonu. Newsweek notes that Zeyno is a senior fellow at the extreme right-wing Hudson Institute. It fails to mention, however, that as a specialist on energy resources (especially in the Caucausus and Central Asia), Zeyno is also the Director of International Security and Energy Programs at The Nixon Center. The Nixon Center is an Aegean Member of the MIT front operation commonly known as the American Turkish Council.

By the way, the BBC has a three-program series available on Operation Gladio:

Gladio: Part 1

Gladio: Part 2

Gladio: Part 3

Thanks to Vladimir for sending me a link with more propaganda. It looks like Michael Rubin, one of the high priests of the most sacred temple of the neocons, AEI, has a book review on a new publication titled Turkey’s Policy Towards Northern Iraq: Problems and Perspectives. You know, every time I think about Michael Rubin writing about Kurds and Turkey, I wonder what it would have been like for Hitler to write about Jews and Nazi Germany.

"Genocide? What genocide?"

To see some initial comments on Sibel Edmonds' recent article, check with Lukery. Follow the links in his post to read commentary.


Here's an update on a couple of items . . .

First, Ken Silverstein, along with Sebastian Sosman, has an article on the conflict of interest associated with Lockheed Martin's "PKK coordinator" to handle the PKK for Turkey. That would be none other than Joseph Ralston, naturally. You can read the article at Harper's. Here's a teaser:

Did Special Envoy Joe Ralston broker a special deal between Turkey and Lockheed Martin?

Three months ago, the Bush Administration appointed retired Air Force General Joseph Ralston to be U.S. “Special Envoy for Countering the PKK,” or Kurdistan Workers Party. Ralston's job, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, was to work with the governments in Ankara and Baghdad “to eliminate the terrorist threat of the PKK and other terrorist groups operating in northern Iraq and across the Turkey-Iraq border.” But it appears that Ralston is representing the interests of the shareholders of Lockheed Martin rather than the interests of the American people.

[ . . . ]

Did Special Envoy Ralston lobby on behalf of Lockheed Martin during his encounters with Turkish officials? It seems likely. Ralston sits on the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin and serves as vice chairman of The Cohen Group, a lobbying firm that has represented Lockheed since 2004. On August 11 of this year, seventeen days before he was named Special Envoy, Ralston was appointed to The Cohen Group team that lobbies for Lockheed.

[ . . . ]

It’s hard to understand how the Bush Administration could appoint a special envoy with so many conflicts of interest, but Lockheed’s corporate slogan says it all: “We never forget who we’re working for.” Neither, it seems, does General Ralston.

Yeah, it's hard to understand, isn't it?

Secondly, Sibel Edmonds has published her second article in a series on the Deep State in America and, WOW! Talk about a journalistic version of a JDAM! She discusses Turkey's tight connections with, and control of, a big chunk of the world's heroin market; Turkey's shady dealings with the transfer of nuclear technology and materials to Pakistan and others; and the role of that powerful Deep State front in the US, the American Turkish Council.

She focuses in particular on the American members of the Deep State, with a big section devoted to everyone's favorite--The Cohen Group. Here's a teaser from Sibel:

The Cohen Group is an excellent case, illustrating the futility of FARA [Note: Foreign Agents Registration Act], since the firm does not have to be registered. They can claim that Turkey is not their ‘direct’ client; they can argue that they are not getting paid ‘directly’ by the government of Turkey or any other foreign entity or government. They certainly can; no matter that Grossman receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from a dubious Turkish company [Note: Ihlas Holding--an Islamist company]. Does Cohen discount Grossman’s Vice Chairmanship salary accordingly? No matter that half a million dollars per year from their client Lockheed Martin is mainly for services provided to Turkey, and having the group’s second chairman serve on Lockheed’s board is another way to get around all restrictions. The incestuous relationship twists and turns: The Cohen Group on the board of ATC, The Cohen Group a paying member client of ATC, The Cohen Group as Lockheed’s lobbyist, Cohen’s men on the board of Lockheed, Lockheed on the board of ATC, Lockheed also a paying client of ATC…How is your head; spinning yet?

Read it! If you're not angry yet, believe me, you will be.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


"The Kurdish female guerrilla army YJA-STAR carried out a retaliation attack killing seven Turkish soldiers in honor of recently martyred Kurdish guerrillas, among them YJA council members Yildiz Demirdag and Sorxwin Ciwana Munzur."
~ DozaMe.

PKK guerilla sub-commander, Sozdar Serbiliz, sits in front of a banner bearing the image of, Abdullah Ocalan, the movement's jailed founder, at a base in the mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region 19 November 2006. (AFP/David Furst)

Paul Schemm, reporting for AFP, has another great article from his recent visit to Qendil. In an earlier report, Schemm mentioned the women cadres and gerîla commanders that he met at one of the PKK's women's academies. He referred to them as a little older, harder, and more wary than the younger gerîlas, and what follows is the result of speaking to them about one of the biggest problems in the Middle East--the role of women:

MOUNT QANDIL, Iraq (AFP) - It took just a few minutes inside the offices of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the mountain village to figure out who was their leader.

Ronahi Ahmed was in charge, and the men in the room immediately deferred to the stern-faced woman with long curly hair and an unexpectedly brilliant smile.

Although ostensibly a member of the civilian political wing of the PKK, Ahmed still had a pistol at her belt, a reminder of her days as a guerrilla leader.

In a part of the world known for the subordination of women, nowhere do females play a greater role than in the ranks of this Kurdish movement in the rugged mountains of northern Iraq.

Once Marxist but now saying it is committed to peaceful and democratic change, the PKK retains a quasi-military structure that gives its own brand of feminism a distinctly martial cast.

"When a woman leaves her home and picks up a rifle it is no small thing -- it is a social revolution," said Arshem Kurman, a hardened guerrilla and lecturer at one of the movement's schools where women's rights are taught.

"We are opening the eyes of Kurdish society," she added, explaining how female fighters in the PKK symbolize women's empowerment among her people.

With their camps in the mountains and an emphasis on education and equality, the PKK aims to offer an alternative model for Kurdish and Middle Eastern women.

Their struggle is constant, admit the women activists and guerrillas, not only in wider society but also among their fellow fighters who themselves do not always reflect the movement's progressive attitudes.

"That is the importance of martyrdom -- it gives our cause weight," said Kurman, adding that female losses in battle and suicide bombings by women have forced men in the movement to take them seriously.

"Women are dying every day, so what better way to send a message?" she said, and described how one Kurdish woman killed more than 50 Turkish soldiers in a suicide attack in the 1990s.

During that decade the PKK launched 15 suicide attacks -- 11 of them by women. But in 1999, after Turkey jailed PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan, the movement announced its commitment to a peaceful solution.

In February this year an Iraqi Kurd from Sulaimaniyah set herself on fire near the Turkish-Iraqi border in protest at Turkish treatment of the Kurds. Posters of Vian Jaf can now be found in many of the movement's buildings.

PKK leader Cemil Bayik stressed that the leadership did not want to encourage such actions, however.

"We are not saying the action was right and we criticize it openly, but as you are aware, emotion in the Kurdish people is running very high," he said at his headquarters in the Qandil mountains. "The Kurdish people respect her actions."

Bayik also displays a poster of Vian Jaf on the wall of his room.

Gaining respect and equality in the male-dominated societies of the Middle East is not easy, PKK women said.

"A woman can't stand up and talk in such a society," said Reha Baran, an administrator at the school -- a cluster of stone huts in the mountains.

"For example, in Kurdish society men are the only ones allowed to speak. If a husband is not home, then it is the eldest son, regardless of his age.

"Because of the backwardness of society, women have been pushed to the margins," she added. "Our aim is to return them to the center of daily life and society."

Female activists and guerrilla leaders converge from all over the Kurdish regions to study at this school and learn how women were deprived of their rights and what can be done to regain them.

They then take these ideas back to their villages and units and spread them throughout Kurdish society.

Cahide, who as a guerrilla goes by just the one name, travels to Kurdish towns and villages to try to present a different social model to these traditional societies.

"They look at women as weak and when we go there they don't take us seriously," she said. "But as time passes, you stay and talk and start to put across your ideas... they look at you more seriously and start to listen."

Cahide admitted that they have to be careful not to alienate her audience, however.

"When I go to a village I know there are red lines. You have to know these people and their culture and how much they can handle," she said.

The young female PKK guerrillas feel that their lives, in which they carry weapons alongside men in a struggle for Kurdish identity, are still vastly superior to what they would have lived had they stayed in their villages.

As the sun set on a hillside overlooked by the towering snowcapped bulk of Mount Qandil, a dozen female guerrillas aged between 15 and 21 sat in the grass drinking tea.

They all laughed when asked if they had not preferred to stay at home and bear children rather than arms, universally shaking their heads.

"Women in these families are forbidden from learning, forbidden from leaving," said Rojbin Hajjar, a Kurd originally from Syria.

In some cases, especially in Iran, guerrillas have helped unhappy girls run away from their families to join the PKK, Hajjar added.

"We are not just an example for the women of the Middle East but for women the world over," added rebel commander Sozdar Serbiliz.

Notice the part about "red lines" and avoiding alienation? This means that PKK is sensitive to the people. This is something that anti-apocular never remember in their propaganda. Take, for example, the ban on marriage that is obligatory for certain members of PKK, since this is a common criticism of the anti-apocular. If the people did not know for a fact that this ban is enforced, would they send their children to the mountains with pride and a blessing? Of course not, given the extremely conservative nature of Kurdish society. There are a number of other reasons why the ban is necessary and practical, but sensitivity to the people's feelings on this matter is one of the primary reasons for it. Quite clearly the ban is not a burden for the gerîlas interviewed.

Schemm also previously noted that the other Kurdish parties had become "fat and corrupt since coming to power," something that can be observed with greater frequency as Kurdish youth flee the poverty and lack of future that they see in South Kurdistan. At the same time, Kurdistan's agricultural potential and village life are in danger of disappearing because the KRG, run by the two main parties, refuse to invest and promote Kurdish agriculture, from the Kurdish Globe:

Arselan Manucher, expert in Economics, suggests increased government support for villagers by saying "it has to provide them with treated seeds," adding the government should also start buying products from these domestic villagers and farmers. Manucher further raised his concern saying that prices also needed to be protected. "So far, no serious efforts have been made by the government to promote the national agricultural sector."

Although there are more than 4,500 villages in Kurdistan, and yet, most agricultural products are imported from the neighboring countries.

The head of the Suleimaniya Barn Syndicate, S. Omer, says the crops brought into the city barns are mainly imports from surrounding countries, adding that local products have never been able in to compete with foreign ones.

More than 800 tons of agricultural products are sold in the Suleimaniya barns on a daily basis, most of which are imported.

In order to effectively support local producers, a recently conducted research has concluded that 200 factories need to be built, with 4 billion ID needed to build the required processing plants.

Instead of investing in the factories necessary to provide a basis for a Kurdish economy, $350 million will be wasted on "the development of "Empire World" in the Kurdish capital of" Hewlêr. From the Middle East Times:

Empire World, which broke ground in June, covers 750,000 square meters (8 million square feet) of integrated commercial, residential, hotel, and leisure facilities in a "mini-city" all-inclusive environment, Canadian-born Hebert told reporters in Dubai.

"The site is designed to provide its users with the latest and most sophisticated technology and services," and will feature two towers, one providing office space and the other housing a luxury hotel, Hebert said.

The project will cost $350 million over eight years, he said, describing Kurdistan as "safe and secure, with a booming investment environment and a diversified economy."

Lies. There is no diversified economy in South Kurdistan otherwise Kurds would not be abandoning their villages to scratch out an existence in the already overcrowded cities, and there would be greater efforts by the KRG to provide basic services to all the people.

But this is not happening. The elites are getting wealthy at the expense of the people.

The good news is that Kurds are going to Qendil to learn how to take back society from the status quo, and then they are spreading out across Kurdistan to do just that. It is starting with women. A different social model is coming, and it's coming from PKK.

That's the best news I've heard in a very long time. You go, girlfriends.

Monday, November 27, 2006


"It is more profitable for your congressman to support the tobacco industry than your life."
~ Jackie Mason.

Does anybody remember way back to the UN's Oil-For-Food scam? Does anybody remember way back when everyone, including the US Senate, was hot to investigate Oil-For-Food? Does anybody remember when, exactly, the whole thing dropped completely off the radar?

The reason it dropped off the radar was because everybody was involved in getting something out of Oil-For-Food . . . except Kurds and Iraqi Arabs. All those who didn't have a personal financial interest in the scam were at least polite enough to look the other way and keep their big mouths shut.

Well, it looks like there's been a blip on the radar from Down Under and Oil-For-Food may rise again, if briefly. I'm talking about the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) kickbacks to Saddam, from Australia's The Courier-Mail:

The spark of the scandal started as far back as 1996 when BHP [Note: BHP Billiton--an Australian mining company] donated a $US5 million wheat shipment to the impoverished post-war Iraq. A year earlier, BHP had hired the well-connected Davidson Kelly to open doors for the company, which desperately wanted to get a slice of the Halfayah oil field. At the time, Iraq was battling UN sanctions that allowed it to sell oil only if the proceeds were used to buy food or medicine.

The sanctions were meant to stop Saddam Hussein buying weapons, but they crippled the country. When BHP decided its plan was not going to work, it tried to retrieve payment for its "gift". When that failed, it transferred that debt to a company, called Tigris Petroleum, which had been set up by Kelly. Tigris then teamed up with AWB, which already was paying kickbacks to the Iraqi regime.

The AWB kickbacks allowed cash into Iraq and also meant the company could keep its contracts. The AWB money was channelled eventually into a Jordanian trucking company, Alia, by way of inflated transport fees. Alia was part-owned by the Iraqi government.

It appears that Australia's Wheat Export Authority knew of kickbacks as far back as 2001, but the Government has maintained it had no knowledge of the issue. However, as early as 2000, the Government was being pushed by the UN to investigate the claims.

An investigation by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade found nothing, despite the fact that Iraq's former trade minister Mohammed Medhi Saleh was singing like a bird. Saleh had ordered AWB to add a 10 per cent fee on all wheat deals. He later told UN investigators that all suppliers under the oil-for-food program were paying kickbacks.

The article also mentions that since the AWB scandal broke, AWB has lost more than $500 million, Iraq has refused to deal with AWB, which probably allowed US wheat growers to gain a monopoly of the Iraq wheat market--at some 70% of it. You can read more on the findings from the Washington Post.

Naturally, American wheat growers are deliriously happy with Australia's misfortune:

THE Cole report should spell a quick end to AWB's export monopoly, the US wheat lobby said today.

The powerful body, which represents US growers, said AWB would almost certainly face a congressional probe into whether it violated American laws through its payment of bribes to Iraq.

US Wheat Associates (USWA), a long-time critic of AWB's monopoly, welcomed the findings of the Cole commission's investigation of the single desk exporter's payment of $290 million in bribes to the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.

[ . . . ]

USWA, which went public in mid-2003 with claims that AWB was propping up Saddam's regime, said the report was further vindication of the lobby's campaign against the company.

While the group said it was not "holding its breath" waiting for changes to AWB's monopoly status, it welcomed the Howard Government's move to consider options for overhauling the wheat marketing system.

"We view the monopoly as a source of this problem, of the culture that developed at AWB that led to these illegal actions," USWA president Alan Tracy said.


The USWA would do the very same thing as the AWB and, in fact, has done it; now the USWA has the monopoly on wheat going to Iraq. It was the same dirtbag, special interest wheat growers, along with the dirtbag special interest rice growers, who opposed the Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988 in the House after it had passed the Senate. The act would have linked sanctions to the genocidal behavior of the Saddam regime (the PGA of 1988, written by Peter Galbraith, was specifically designed to do this as a response to Saddam's genocidal Anfal campaign against the Kurdish people), but at the time, 23% of the US rice export went to Iraq, along with some 1 million tons of wheat annually. Check Samantha Power's A Problem from Hell for more on that.

In Washington, Senators are also crowing with schadenfreude, from the AP as carried on the International Herald Tribune:

Two U.S. senators pledged on Monday to investigate Australia's monopoly wheat exporter after a report found that it paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's government under the U.N.'s Iraqi oil-for-food program.

Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, probable chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee after the next Congress convenes in January, said the Australian report on the exporter AWB Ltd. would be helpful for his panel's inquiry.

"Now that Democrats are in the majority, we should have a better opportunity next year to get the facts out on the table and examine the extent of corruption in AWB's dealings under the United Nations oil-for-food program," Harkin said in a statement.

Now why would the Senate be interested in investigating an Australian company when it really needs to investigate the Australian company's American connections? You don't have to look far to start that investigation, either. Just go right down 19th Street, NW, in DC, and knock on the door of The Cohen Group, from February of this year from Australia's The Age:

AWB enlisted the help of an influential Washington lobby firm to deal with a United Nations investigation into the payment of kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, the Cole inquiry has heard.

The wheat exporter hired the Cohen Group in 2005 as part of its strategy, code-named Project Rose, to deal with the UN inquiry headed by Paul Volcker and corruption allegations made against it by US wheat farmers and hostile US politicians.

[ . . . ]

Just weeks before Mr Volcker handed down his report, AWB executives and Othman al-Absi, the general manager of Jordanian trucking firm Alia, were working with US international law specialists DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary to co-ordinate a response to the UN inquiry.

Alia, a front company for the Iraqi dictator's regime, was the conduit for the massive kickbacks paid by AWB and other companies involved in rorting the UN oil-for-food program.

DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary is the Cohen Group's "strategic partner". In October 2005, Mr al-Absi briefed DLA partner Stanley McDermott on what he told Mr Volcker's committee about AWB.

[ . . . ]

Mr Whitwell explained that AWB had made contact with the Cohen Group in Washington. He recalled Mr Hargreaves saying the Cohen Group had been talking to the Australian embassy in Washington.

The Cohen Group was established in 2001. It is chaired by William Cohen, who was US defence secretary under president Bill Clinton between 1997 and 2001. The firm's website says it helped US companies secure reconstruction contracts in Iraq by working with US officials and the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Notes from Mr Whitwell's diary reveal that the Cohen Group was helping AWB prepare a communications strategy to deal with the UN investigation into the corruption of the oil-for-food program.

A "communications strategy" means that The Cohen Group was figuring out what kind of lie AWB could tell the UN investigators.

From April, 2006:

MARK COLVIN: What about this question of Mr Downer actually saying that it was his responsibility to defend them?

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Well this was something that was raised in reference to an internal investigation known as Project Rose, and a document presented to the inquiry this afternoon as part of that investigation shows that Mr Downer had apparently told AWB senior executives that he saw it as his responsibility to defend AWB, and that these executives said there was strong support from Minister Downer.

MARK COLVIN: And who are these high-priced lobbyists in Washington?

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Well some of the highest priced in that town. They were the Cohen Group, which is the public relations company established by the former US defence secretary, William Cohen, the defence secretary during the Clinton administration …

MARK COLVIN: who visited this country at least on one occasion.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Indeed, and they noted that in hiring this company that the Australian embassy in Washington was very supportive of this, partly because Mr Cohen was a friend of Mr Downer's, and they also noted, in hiring this company, that the Australian Government strongly supported AWB in defending these claims.

But the influential team at the Cohen group, of course the company was headed by William Cohen, but they said that the team handling the day-to-day work for AWB would include Frank Miller, who apparently was the special assistant to President Bush during September 11. He was the man who ran the so-called White House situation room for the first 24 hours of September 11.

From July, 2006:

EIGHTEEN months after the invasion of Iraq, high-ranking Australian diplomats in Washington colluded with an AWB "damage control" team to shield the wheat exporter's actions from a potentially damaging US Senate investigation.

Documents reveal for the first time the extent of the extraordinary co-operation between the Howard Government and AWB during 2004 as they worked to defuse the US Senate's probe into corruption of the United Nation's oil-for-food program.

While 850 Australian military personnel were fighting the Iraq insurgency, Australia's ambassador to the US, Michael Thawley, his deputy, Peter Baxter, a team of AWB lawyers and influential Washington lobbyists including former Clinton defence secretary William Cohen worked on a strategy to conceal the full extent of its activities from the US Senate committee.

AWB's in-house name for it was Project Rose.

The AWB strategy was, in effect, to play the Iraq card — using the presence of Australian troops as a leverage point to protect Australia's wheat market.

[ . . . ]

As part of the Project Rose strategy, AWB's US law firm, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, advised the Government to use Australia's continuing support for the US in Iraq as leverage to stop the investigation into AWB.

"Singling out AWB and Australia for heightened scrutiny would also cast aside important facts about the role Australia and AWB have played alongside the United States in Iraq and other critical areas," an AWB memorandum given to the Washington embassy states.

"Australia has earned its recognition as one of the foremost allies of the United States in the UN, in Afghanistan, in the Iraq war and in Iraq's reconstruction."

I'm really disappointed. I mean, if the rats at DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary were worth the ink it took to print their law degrees, they would have also managed to link this cover-up to the War on Terror®. More on the AWB/The Cohen Group/DLA-PRGC connections here.

The Cohen Group involved with AWB is the same one that also provided Lockheed Martin with its current "PKK coordinator" to Turkey, Joseph Ralston. Does anyone honestly believe, that with the conflict of interest surrounding Ralston's appointment, and the US government's full knowledge of Ralston's connections, and adding in William Cohen's buddies at the Australian Embassy in DC, that the Australian government really didn't have a single clue as to what was going on?

Does anyone honestly believe that Democrats in the Senate are going to expose former high-ranking officials of the Clinton administration in all their glorious venality? Whoever honestly believes that needs to go on a clue hunt with the Australian government.

Dirty is as dirty does. Sounds to me like it's time to give Public Strategies, Inc. a call.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


"The seed of revolution is repression."
~ Woodrow Wilson.

Earlier in the week, I posted a link to an article by Paul Schemm and his visit to Qandîl. There is another by Schemm, also on Middle East Online, which references Iraqi PKK coordinator Shirwan al-Waili's comments about Iraq finishing off the PKK within a year:

In his stone hut on a mountain side, guerilla commander Sayda Hussein Afshin dismissed the minister's statements.

"He's just being political, and is lying both to the Turks and to himself," he said. "We are not afraid. In any case there are always possibilities of attacks in every part of Kurdistan, from all four sides."

"We are always preparing ourselves."

I'll say. How is Iraq going to finish off PKK in a year when it can't even control Baghdad? It seems to me that there are a lot bigger problems in Baghdad than in the mountains of Kurdistan, but the commander is correct: al-Waili's statement was political. Still, it's an indication of how obsessed the Ankara regime is in maintaining it's foundational lie that Kurds do not exist and that Turkish society must be homogenous. It also shows that in spite of official Turkish hand-wringing over the security of Iraq and Iraqis, they really don't give a damn.

From Commander Sozdar Serbiliz:

"We don't want war," said the hardened 25-year-old guerrilla who has been fighting Turks for the past decade. "The problem is that all four states attack the Kurds and they don't accept our identity."

PKK has not wanted war for a long time and that is why there have been a number of ceasefires over the years. Desire for peace was also the reason for Ocalan's attempt to bring the Kurdish situation to public scrutiny in Europe. It was the international community under pressure from the warmongering regimes in Washington and Ankara that ensured Turkey's atrocities against the Kurdish people would not become the subject of public debate in the West. The silencing of this debate, by conspiracy, serves the purpose of hiding Western support for the slaughter of Kurds and keeps the blood money flowing to the Western defense industry.

As a result, PKK wants peace but stands ready for war. There is no other choice.

Schemm seems to have some concerns:

At first glance, though, it is difficult to see how this unit of a few dozen men is going to stand up to a concerted Iraqi attempt to retake their mountain fastness.

To conserve ammunition for the exercise they loaded their weapons with older bullets, causing many to jam during the hilltop assault, and at least one RPG round misfired.

It is hard to believe that this movement has survived the concerted assaults of the Turkish military, armed with modern helicopters and artillery, since launching a guerilla war in 1984.

What's the point in using fresh ammunition for a training excercise when it should be conserved for the real thing when the time comes--killing Mehmetciks.

As for difficulty in believing that the freedom movement of North Kurdistan has survived, and thrived, while under attack for decades by the second largest army in NATO, is something easy to understand when one realizes the strategic center of gravity lies with PKK and is a result of the atrocities committed against the Kurdish people by Turkey and its backers--all of which is over and above the tactical benefits of being a defensive force in the terrain of Kurdistan. The roots of the Kurdish resistance are moral roots because this war is not a military war at its souce; it is a political and social war, derived from the crisis of the Turkish state's legitimacy. Turkey has gone to extreme efforts, even to the point of embracing and enforcing a 20th century fascist political system on all the peoples of Turkey, as well as engaging in extreme human rights abuses, in an effort to manufacture "legitimacy." After 80 years of effort, Kurdish identity has grown stronger while Turkish identity remains as questionable as it was in 1923.

Therefore TSK's fight remains simply at the tactical level. The regime's propaganda is designed to support the tactical level of the fight, by presenting a false strategic center of gravity for outsider consumption, i.e. the US, the EU, anyone else ignorant ignorant enough or complicit in genocide enough to give the propaganda any weight. While the regime's use of force works temporarily at the physical level (such as TSK raids on Kurdish villages which result in brutality against villagers as well as the destruction of villages), it is an utter failure on the moral level, the very same level from which PKK derives the strength needed to thrive after decades of TSK failures.

Another article from Schemm and AFP is found at Al-Thawra, but a far more interesting and personal account of his visit to Qandîl can be found on The Arabist. Here's is the conclusion:

The other Kurdish parties have grown fat and corrupt since coming to power, and these ascetic mountain guerillas with their emphasis on women’s rights and education might still have a thing or two to tell them all.

And anyway, it’s got to be better then this mess in Baghdad where the suicide bomber are male and the nights ring to the sound of rival neighborhoods dropping mortars on each other.

For more on PKK, PJAK, and Qandîl, there was an enjoyable series on KurdishMedia earlier this year, in case you missed it:

The PKK and PJAK fighters of Qendil - I

The PKK and PJAK fighters of Qendil - II

The PKK and PJAK fighters of Qendil - III

The PKK and PJAK fighters of Qendil - IV

When the final installment of the series is available, I will post a link.

Meanwhile, back in Ankara, MIT chief Emre Taner should take his nose out of the glue jar before briefing anyone going off to the EU Harmonization Commission.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Rojbûna te pîroz be, Rastî,

û gelek sipas bo mêvanên Rastîyê.

Friday, November 24, 2006


" . . . to say that the United States is supporting the PJAK is not right."
~ Cemil Bayik.

Cemil 'Cuma' Bayik, one of the main leaders and a founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

What Cuma says is what I said, from The Daily Star, with thanks to the hevals at KurdishInfo:

MOUNT QANDIL, Iraq: The United States government is in contact with Kurds struggling against Iran, a top rebel leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) said Thursday. Cemil "Cuma" Bayik, a founder of the movement that has struggled for Kurdish self-determination for the past 30 years, said the United States was in touch with the Party for Freedom in Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) in Iran, but that it was not helping actively.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed recently in the New Yorker magazine that American forces were supporting the PJAK as part of their strategy to destabilize the Tehran government.

"American authorities want to have contact with PJAK, and as a matter of fact they do have contact with PJAK," Bayik said in an exclusive interview at his headquarters deep in Iraq's remote Qandil Mountains on the Iranian border.

"But to say that the United States is supporting the PJAK is not right," he added. "PJAK is until now continuing their struggle just with the support of the Kurdish people and the PKK."

[ . . . ]

"If the US is interested in PJAK, then it has to be interested in the PKK as well," Bayik said. "The PKK is the one who formed PJAK, who established PJAK and supports PJAK."

[ . . . ]

Bayik also called on the international powers and Turkish parties that urged the PKK to announce its unilateral cease-fire to do more to put pressure on the Turkish government and military to reciprocate.

[ . . . ]

Fearing Turkish threats to invade northern Iraq in a bid to deal with PKK bases, the US and Iraq pushed the PKK to reinstate its cease-fire in September. Bayik told AFP that rather than reciprocating, Turkish forces have increased their attacks on the PKK in Turkey.

"Since we called the cease-fire, we are at a point of no war, no peace," he said. "Before we called for a cease-fire, the forces who asked for the cease-fire said they would work for the Kurdish question to be solved peacefully."

[ . . . ]

Bayik said the cease-fire would continue until after Turkish general elections in May, when the PKK would re-evaluate the situation.

"We are very realistic because there are elections, and we know before elections there is no one to make steps toward a cease-fire," he said. But he added that measures such as scaling back military operations would help create a better atmosphere. "If these steps are taken, we will be able to continue our cease-fire and this will start our dialogue."

[ . . . ]

"We fought against Turkey, and as you know Turkey is a member of NATO and during this war NATO supported Turkey and that's how Turkey stood up to us," Bayik said. "Because of that, whether NATO forces come here or not doesn't change anything for us. If NATO forces come here and stand against us, this will increase the tension of the Kurdish people against NATO."

You go, boyfriend.

Those last remarks are in response to a suggestion earlier this week that NATO troops be sent to South Kurdistan to prevent a Turkish invasion. They must think we are stupid if they think we don't know that TSK is the second-largest army in NATO. To put NATO troops in South Kurdistan is merely a ploy to put Turkish troops there.

But I doubt NATO would be able to get together any kind of force to place in South Kurdistan. They're having a hard enough time to maintain troop strength in Afghanistan, and can't seem to get anyone to go into Lebanon. It may be that NATO has fallen into the vortex of irrelevancy and is spiralling toward oblivion.

Too bad for all those smiling faces on the boards of directors of the defense industry, who are in control of the warmongers in Washington and Ankara. They are the ones that have refused any possible peaceful solution to the Kurdish situation. In particular, we should remember the words of Lockheed Martin's "PKK coordinator." Let's review.

From TDN:

Days before the declaration of the truce, the United States publicly said that a PKK cease-fire would have little value and that the terrorist group instead should lay down its arms and renounce violence. Cease-fire sort of implies an act that is taken between two states, two actors, to do that. And I don't want to confer that kind of status on the PKK by saying a cease-fire, Joseph Ralston, the newly appointed U.S. special envoy for countering the PKK . . .

From the US Embassy, Ankara:

Like Turkey, the United States has been the target and victim of terrorism for many years, and we have developed a clear strategy for dealing with terrorism. That strategy does NOT involve talking to or negotiating with terrorists.

I want to be clear on this point: the U.S. will not negotiate with the PKK. We will not ask Turkey to negotiate with the PKK And I pledge to you that I will never meet with the PKK.

[ . . . ]

Second, as I have said on my previous trips to Turkey, we have not taken any option off the table for dealing with the PKK. The military option is on the table. At the same time, as a former military commander, I know that the use of military force must always be the last option for addressing a problem, not the first option.

[ . . . ]

I know from years of personal experience that the Turkish military is skilled, effective, and courageous. They have previously made great efforts in Iraq to defeat the PKK, but the results of those efforts have been limited. To defeat the PKK, we will need to employ all the assets in our counterterrorism arsenal -- diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, and financial, and military. We are working on all of these fronts. [Note: The results of TSK efforts in South Kurdistan have not been limited; they have been total failures for TSK.]

[ . . . ]

Q. The US intends to use the IRA model in dealing with the PKK.
A. You are comparing two very different situations, and mixing apples with oranges. In the case of the PKK, our objective is to enhance cooperation with the Turkish and Iraqi governments to fight the PKK. We are also working with European governments to cut the PKK's financial and logistics lifeline. We will use all of the tools at our disposal: law enforcement, intelligence, diplomacy, financial pressure. And we have not taken any other option off the table.

Q. Why are U.S. officials meeting with PKK officials?
A. We do not. I will not.

Meanwhile, back in the States, there are a number of lawmakers who have been specifically agitating for wide support for the anti-Kurdish MEK. These lawmakers include Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY), and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

The single biggest difference between MEK's position on The List and PKK's position on The List is that MEK targeted and killed US military personnel in the 1970s and supported the takeover of the US embassy in Teheran in 1979. PKK has never targeted or killed Americans.

Why is Seymour Hersh covering up high-level US support for MEK while making up stories about PKK?

Thursday, November 23, 2006


"We have a political agreement to change the socio-economic conditions in a peaceful way -- a peaceful transformation is possible now and armed conflict is going to be over."
~ Prachanda, Reuters.

This week the people of Nepal have been celebrating its peace accord between the government and Maoist rebels, and with good reason. The peace deal will end ten years of warfare that has seen the deaths of some 13,000 people. Of interest is the fact that the Maoists will take seats in the parliament are calling for integration into the army.

The establishment of a truth commission is something that is called for in the peace agreement, but so far human rights activists have called the agreement "weak" on settling human rights questions, from the Washington Post:

Mandira Sharma, a leading human rights advocate from Nepal, said the country was "moving in the right direction" by consolidating a cease-fire agreement with the new accord and committing to dialogue. But from a human rights perspective, she said, the agreement "is weak."

"It mentions a truth commission but does not give a time frame," said Sharma, who is currently touring the United States. "The approach and mind-set is to move forward. The government thinks if we start delving into all the extrajudicial killings and disappearances, that will hamper the peace process."

A truth commission is essential to create an atmosphere in which the people can feel at ease, but I find it ironic that it's the government that is fearful of such a commission "hamper[ing] the peace process." Although there have been accusations against the Maoists, such as the forced recruitment of children-soldiers, it appears that the government has been far more aggressive in committing human rights abuses in an environment of impunity, and has been supported in the commission of abuses by the usual suspects and their defense industries, from Amnesty International:

Amnesty International today revealed how irresponsible military aid and arms supplies to Nepal from countries including the United States, India and the United Kingdom, have facilitated the killing, torture and abduction or " disappearance="" thousands="" of="" civilians="">

[ . . . ]

The report, Nepal: Military assistance contributing to grave human rights violations, focuses particular attention on military aid, arms transfers and training provided to Nepal's armed forces by governments during the 9-year armed conflict between Nepalese security forces and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). It also examines the supply of arms from private companies and the role governments play in providing export licenses for such sales.

Despite overwhelming evidence that such military assistance has been used for the killing and abduction of civilians by both sides in the conflict, it has only recently been suspended and in some cases still continues.

[ . . . ]

The reports main findings include:

* The export of 25,000 5.56mm infantry rifles (INSAS) to Nepal from India, despite evidence of their use in grave human rights violations such as the murder of 19 unarmed Maoist suspects by Nepalese security forces in August 2003;

* The supply by India of Lancer helicopter gunships, produced under license from the French company Eurocopter, which have been used by the Royal Nepalese Army to attack mass meetings called by the Maoists in villages often resulting in the killing of civilians;

* The transfer of 20,000 M16 automatic assault rifles to Nepalese security forces by the US along with over US$29 million in military funding since 2001;

* Provision by the UK of Islander Short Take Off and Landing aircraft for logistic purposes without a system of end use monitoring to ensure that these planes are not later fitted with armaments;

* The granting in 2001 of UK export licences for various shipments of small arms, including 6,780 assault rifles, in contravention of the terms of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports (1998);

* Inconsistent application of the EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports with the sale by Belgium of 5,000 Minimi Light Machine Guns to Nepal in 2002, despite an earlier German refusal to supply similar weapons on human rights grounds;

* Training provided to Nepalese security forces by the US, UK and India with unclear or non-existent vetting procedures to screen out those reasonably suspected of gross human rights violations;

* The supply of military communications equipment to Nepal from South Africa in 2003;

* A failure by the United Nations to independently vet members of the Royal Nepalese Army sent to take part in UN peacekeeping missions despite reports that soldiers who were suspected of involvement in extrajudicial executions have subsequently been deployed on UN duties.

More on Nepalese security forces and impunity, again at Amnesty International.

According to the World Policy Institute, the US provided "more than $8.3 million in weapons and services" (like training), with $6.6 million of that going to the Nepalese government in 2003. In early 2005, when the king declared "emergency rule," he instituted a series of steps typical of the extreme right-wing everywhere: dismissal of the government, cutting of communications to the outside (including cell phones), silencing the press, and turning security forces loose on the population like attack dogs. Although Washington made a show of condemning the king's coup, business--meaning arms sales, military training, and human rights abuses--continued as usual.

Check a couple of general articles on the Nepal peace agreement, one from the NYTimes and one from the Washington Post. Both of these engage in a lot of hand-wringing over the Maoist rebels and whether or not they will stick with the agreement, or that the rebels must prove their trustworthiness. In neither article is there any mention of the government's severe human rights abuses, nor is there any worry about the government's trustworthiness. Why is that?

In a report from mid-November, from Yahoo, the US State Department is oozing with hypocrisy over the peace deal:

"We want to see the peace process work. We pledge our full support," Boucher told reporters.

"We have certain laws about not supporting terrorist groups and until they (the rebels) are fully converted to a political party we are going to have to apply those laws," he added.

"We will be fully prepared to deal with them as a political party when they start behaving like a political party. Political parties don't run militia, political parties don't walk around with guns," he told reporters.

Very funny. Does that mean that when the Democrats and Republicans start behaving like political parties, instead of being state-sponsors of terror, the State Department will be fully prepared to deal with them?

No one told Boucher that US laws don't apply anywhere but inside the US. But, nobody told this guy that according to US law, the US itself engages in international terrorism, by involving itself in violent acts that are intended to intimidate or coerce civilian populations, with said violent acts occuring primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the US. For more on that, see the US Code, Title 18.

Note that in the first line of the Yahoo article, there is a clear statement that the CPN-M (Nepalese Maoists) is on the US list of FTOs, but that statement is a lie. The CPN-M is not on the US list of FTOs. It is on the "Terrorist Exclusion List", which has to do with immigration restrictions. The FTO list, otherwise known as The List, is a totally different thing.

In order to get on The List, you have to meet certain criteria, such as indicating "capability and/or willingness to engage in terrorist methods that threaten the U.S. national security interests," including "attacks on U.S. nationals, and American national defense, military, diplomatic, and economic interests."

An example of this can be found in Colombia, in an article titled (ironically, for Kurds), "Good Terrorists, Bad Terrorists: How Washington Decides Who's Who," where it's clear that the far-right fascist terrorists of the AUC were included on the lesser, secondary Exclusion List, and not on The List. No doubt this decision was made because the AUC is supported by the Colombian elites who are thoroughly aligned with US interests, including corporate interests. The concluding line of the article is perfect: "Meanwhile, the double standard used to create the State Department's lists once again illustrates that terrorism serving U.S. interests is not, in Washington's eyes, really terrorism."

This is exactly what has happened in the case of the PKK. The PKK has never targeted Americans or American interests, yet it is on The List. Likewise, CPN-M has never targeted Americans or American interests either, but it's on the Exclusion List.

Why would Yahoo lie like that? Why would the NYTimes and Washington Post lie by omission like that?

Nepali Maoist rebel leader Prachanda speaks during an exclusive interview with Reuters at Chundevi village in Bhaktapur November 16, 2006.

REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar

Finally, AFP has a very interesting article, carried by Yahoo, about Prachanda, the leader of CPN-M. It's certainly good to see something about him and background. It's great if CPN-M has managed to do away with feudalistic practices, since these practices only serve to bolster an oppressive status quo and its leadership. This is very similar to PKK's goals.

Another similarity with PKK is the tempering of demands by Prachanda's group:

"We are 21st-century communists. We are not dogmatic. We are trying to develop our line, policy and programme for the changed situation," Prachanda told AFP in a recent interview.

"We have seen revolution and counter-revolution in the 20th century, and Stalin's experiment failed. We do not want to repeat the same phenomenon."

Man . . . that sounds so familiar.

More with Prachanda:

INTERVIEW - Nepal rebel heralds peace, keeps armed option open.

Nepal rebel chief will not join interim govt.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


“The global importance of the Middle East is that it keeps the Far East and the Near East from encroaching on each other.”
~ Dan Quayle, Vice President under George H.W. Bush.

Seymour Hersh has another speculative article out, in which he mentions Kurds, from The New Yorker:

In the past six months, Israel and the United States have also been working together in support of a Kurdish resistance group known as the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan. The group has been conducting clandestine cross-border forays into Iran, I was told by a government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon civilian leadership, as “part of an effort to explore alternative means of applying pressure on Iran.” (The Pentagon has established covert relationships with Kurdish, Azeri, and Baluchi tribesmen, and has encouraged their efforts to undermine the regime’s authority in northern and southeastern Iran.) The government consultant said that Israel is giving the Kurdish group “equipment and training.” The group has also been given “a list of targets inside Iran of interest to the U.S.” (An Israeli government spokesman denied that Israel was involved.)

I love the part about PJAK being "Kurdish tribesmen," especially since there is nothing as anti-tribal or anti-feudal as PKK, of which PJAK is a part.

How can PJAK be conducting "clandestine" raids into "Iran" when everyone knows PJAK is killing Ahmedinejad's flying monkeys?

I wonder how a "government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon civilian leadership" would know anything about PKK? Has the "government consultant" been to Qandîl? Does he/she/it know where Qandîl is? Has Hersh been to Qandîl, or is he still getting his tips through the Turkish Foreign Ministry?

Let's note that Hersh quotes his "government consultant" saying this working together is "part of an effort to explore alternative means" of putting the screws to Teheran. Let's also note that Hersh plays fast and loose with the term "Israel." He's done this before, leading readers to believe that the Israeli government was training Kurds (Başûrî Kurds) when in reality it seems more likely that it was private Israeli companies that were conducting the training. Who is really doing the alleged training? Who is really paying for the alleged equipment? Whose agenda is Hersh paid to propagandize?

That's what it's really all about, isn't it?

I wrote something about this way back when . . . in July, to be exact. It was Canada's MacLeans that scooped Hersh on this news, doing a much better job of it in the process. Since then, there have been no indications of any agreements, deals, relationships or any similar arrangements between CIA and PKK, Israel and PKK, the Boy Scouts and PKK, or, well, you get what I'm saying. I stand by what I said in July:

Is the CIA really talking to PKK? Are they really trying to use the back door to take down the evil Teheran regime? Who really knows? Only one thing is important: Any deals cut with the Americans (and anyone else, for that matter) must be cut, first and foremost, with Kurdish interests at heart.

Other interests are unacceptable.

Figure it this way: Just as the US has been totally unconcerned with Kurdish interests vis-a-vis South Kurdistan and Iraq, so it will be totally unconcerned with Kurdish interests vis-a-vis Iran. The US has always been hostile to any Kurdish interests vis-a-vis Turkey. In the last week we have seen extreme right-wing American blogs calling for the beheading of gerîlas (although given that the US considers expressions of Kurdish culture as signs of "terrorism," we can go ahead and interpret these calls as applying to all Kurds); the Democratic National Convention leader falling into line with Turkish propaganda; and neocon whore Michael Rubin telling it like it is by saying that the US will never abandon Turkey for Kurds, feudal or otherwise.

More on the Hersh thing from TDN.

In the last week we have also heard rumblings of the Kissingerians returning to power through the Bush 41 crowd (think: James Baker and Iraq study group), and they, along with Mr. Tony "Acquiescence" Blair, are getting louder in the insistence that everyone sit down and engage in some kind of group therapy, together with Iran and Syria, so that they can all cooperate in healing Iraq. To get the ball rolling on the application of the revival of realpolitick in the region, Talabanî will run off to Teheran this weekend, while Iraq and Syria are new best buddies.

Speaking of Syria, it appears to have murdered another member of the Lebanese government today. Don't be fooled. Syria is the satellite of Iran, and this was another show of strength by the evil mullahs. Wouldn't it be interesting to know how much Kissinger's recent comments had to do with emboldening the Iranian-sponsored murderers of Gemayel?

The entire international community has screwed Lebanon and the next ones to get it will be Kurds unless there is immediate non-cooperation with any state, organization, idea, or policy that does not serve Kurdish interests. Does the international community think the Middle East is miserable for them already? They haven't seen anything yet. Let them get a load of the intransigence of 40 million uncooperative, restive Kurds.

Journalists love to use "restive" in describing Kurds, yet they never bother to find out WHY Kurds are restive.

Meanwhile, watch for Lockheed Martin's "special envoy to counter the PKK," Joseph Ralston, to visit Turkey sometime soon. Looks like there's gonna be a bunch of paperwork to sign on that F-35 deal in the next few weeks. Everyone should remember that Ralston was pushing this deal back in mid-October during his last visit as "special envoy."

That's what it's really all about, isn't it?

Monday, November 20, 2006


"Shimon Peres said it was not possible to live with the hate of 2 million Palestinian people. How then has Turkey coped for so long with the hatred of 15 million Kurds?"
~ Leyla Zana, Writings from Prison.

Here's a nice video that the fascists at Youtube haven't managed to delete yet. It has about a 10-minute runtime and consists of portions of a one-hour documentary by Jiyar Gol, a Kurd from Rojhelat. What is it with the Rojhelatî and film anyway? Someone needs to do a sociological study on that because they are seriously into making films and documentaries.

The documentary previewed here is called "The Emblem of Turkey--The Kurdish Problem," and was filmed sometime in early 2004. You can learn more about Jiyar's documentaries at I had seen another of Jiyar's documentaries, on South Kurdistan, on Roj TV, but I guessed I missed this one on Bakûr.

I really liked the seeing the snow at the beginning of the clip because of its beauty. No one should miss the irony of the Turkish nationalist politician's statement that the Turkish justice system is independent, juxtaposed against film of a state security court filled with soldiers, or the phrase "Ne mutlu Turkum diyene" in lights on the incredible walls of Amed, and the young Amedî's stating, "We don't like it; we would never accept that."

That's what I'm talking about.

The video clip ends with the Kurdish Peace Mothers of Amed.

Hurry up and watch before the dirtbag censors at Youtube dump it. You know what exactly I'm talking about, don't you?

Sunday, November 19, 2006



Ha gerilla, gerilla, gerilla,
Cihanin umudu gerilla.
Ha gerilla, gerilla, gerilla,
Halkimin umudu gerilla.
~ Şehîd Sefkan of Koma Berxwedan, Halkimin Umudu.

Harry Rosenfeld, a former editor of the Washington Post and the guy who brought the Watergate scandal to public light, opines in the Albany Times Union that the US should use Kurds as a "stop-gap" to save Baghdad because US forces are "stretched to their limit" and none of the other schemes Washington has cooked up as "stop-gaps," to make up for lousy planning of how to secure and reconstruct Iraq post-war, have worked.

In this crisis, which could in the worst case result in Iraq becoming a failed state, the U.S. should turn to the Kurds, who in their virtually autonomous enclave in northern Iraq have amassed a reputable and disciplined force of 60,000 to 100,000 men known as the Peshmerga.

[ . . . ]

The Peshmerga could have greater credibility with both Shiite and Sunnis than either would have with forces mainly made up of members of the other's religious sect.

In other words, Rosenfeld wants Kurds to risk the security of South Kurdistan in order to save what has become the American misadventure, probably because Americans are sick and tired of dying. He notes that pêşmerge "[took] control of the major northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk," back in March, 2003, but fails to mention that US forces immediately ordered pêşmerge out of those cities, a stupid thing to do, given the serious problems that both cities have had and continue to have under American control. In fact, American control of Mûsil resulted in numerous beheadings of Kurds and Iraqi Christians, as well as a virtual takeover of the western portion of the city by "insurgents."

Not only does Rosenfeld suggest that Kurds should risk their own security, but he admits that by "acquiescing" to any American demand for help in "stabilizing" Iraq, he also admits that the very scheme he proposes will end up going badly for Kurds:

Employment of the Peshmerga, nominally a part of the national Iraqi army, outside of its home grounds would come with a cost. In Iraq itself, it likely would engender fears of the Kurds winding up in any eventual settlement with a greater share of the national pie -- meaning oil -- than their 4 million portion of the national population would warrant. Shiites are the most numerous, Sunnis the second most.

[ . . . ]

U.S. diplomacy would have to reassure the Turks, who are allies, that the wider employment of Kurdish troops, and perhaps additional training of more of them, would be strictly limited to containing the destabilization of Iraq, which also threatens Turkey.

As for the Syrians and Iranians, who are fishing in Iraq's troubled waters, the Kurds' wider deployment would serve as a warning to them to help facilitate compromise rather than continuing to encourage disorder in Iraq.

How will the US "reassure" the Ankara regime over the "wider employment of Kurdish troops," when the Ankara regime is busy convincing the US that all Kurds are "terrorists"? According to TDN, "[i]n talks with U.S. officials, the Turkish military emphasizes that the PKK and Iraqi Kurds are 'one and the same,'" indicating that both the US and Turkey are laying the propaganda groundwork to justify a Turkish invasion for oil as part of their global War on Terror®.

It's a very suspicious thing that Americans suddenly come to the conclusion that Kurdish forces should stretch themselves to their limit by employing pêşmerge "outside of its home grounds," thus jeopardizing Kurdish security at a time when Turkey and Iran have been engaged in joint military operations against Kurdish civilians in South Kurdistan. These joint military operations are ostensibly due to the presence of the Kurdish freedom fighters of the PKK in South Kurdistan's mountains, but given the natural oil wealth of Kerkuk, Mûsil, and recently discovered oil deposits in Behdinan (Dihok governorate and parts of Hewlêr governorate), it is far more likely that the massing of Turkish troops along the border with South Kurdistan, and attacks coordinated with Iran, is the preparation for Turkey's permanent seizure of the oil resources.

It was no coincidence that the deployment of TSK along the border with South Kurdistan occurred in April, during Secretary of State Rice's visit to Ankara. American silence over the deployment, and over subsequent acts of Turkish and Iranian aggression indicates that the US approves of the Ankara regime's plans.

Additionally, that great friend of Kurdistan, Henry Kissinger, is proclaiming that the time is not right for "democracy" in Iraq and, as the ideologist behind the Iraq study group, is emphasizing the need to enlist the help of Iran and Syria to help protect American interests in Iraq. Iranian and Syrian "help" will no doubt include harsher crackdowns and more murders of Kurds. Just as America knowingly and willfuly abandoned Kurds to slaughter in 1975 under Kissinger's watch, so too the US will do the same thing again.

Meanwhile, in the Kurdish mountains, Our People's Hope still holds out for peace while standing ready for war, from Middle East Online:

Deep in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region, PKK commander Saydo Hussein Afshin said let them try it.

"No power or country can get us out of the Qandil," he said against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks in the nearly inaccessible region along the Iranian border.

"Twenty times the Turks have attacked us and they were never victorious, instead we were the victor."

Around him, dozens of guerrilla fighters armed with assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and light machine guns, worked on preparing the camp for winter by gathering firewood and insulating their simple stone huts clinging to the mountain side.

[ . . . ]

Afshin said they are dug in deeply in their mountain fastness and cannot be dislodged.

"For the past 10 years we have made many preparations and we feel quite safe here," he said.

Recent restructuring of HPG's operations gives each HPG unit greater autonomy in battle, so much so that in the event of full-scale operations against enemy forces, there will be no centralized command. Each unit is well aware of the mission, understands perfectly what must be done, and has the autonomy to carry out planned operations or spontaneous attacks against targets of opportunity. The terrain of the Kurdistan favors unconventional warfare, of which HPG is the master. At this point, HPG holds all key terrain and enjoys the benefits of operating from well-prepared defensive positions. This means that any future invasion will fail, exactly as they have all failed in the past.

The goal is not to seize terrain and hold it, as in conventional warfare, but to force the enemy side to a political resolution. A political resolution can be the only proper resolution to a political problem. Continued retaliation attacks against Kurdish civilians by Turkey and Iran will increase the ranks of HPG and reinforce the already massive civilian support of PKK.

While PKK remains true to its unilateral ceasefire, the Ankara regime, with American backing, continues to attack gerîlas. As long as the US appoints arms dealers such as Lockheed Martin's Joseph Ralston to encourage Turkey in its aggression, and actively works to cover up the genocide of the Kurdish people, there can be no cooperation.