Monday, March 19, 2007


“Money, not morality, is the principle commerce of civilized nations.”
~ Thomas Jefferson.

Last week, Lockheed Martin's "special envoy" to "coordinate" the PKK for Turkey, Joseph Ralston testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Europe. In his testimony, he lies by selectivity or outright, so let's go through his statement and pick it apart.

Chairman Wexler, Congressman Gallegly, Members of the Sub-Committee, it is an honor to speak to you today about my efforts during the past six months to address the significant threat posed to our long-standing ally Turkey by the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers Party), including its impact on Turkey's relations with Iraq and the potential for Turkish cross-border action. This conflict has endured for more than twenty years and the resulting violence led in the last year alone to the deaths of 600 Turkish citizens. The continued ability of this terrorist group to operate from Iraqi territory is a threat to regional security and an impediment to improvements in the lives of people on both sides of the border.

It's amazing that a relative few thousands of Kurdish gerîlas can pose a "significant threat" to the 800,000-strong TSK, NATO's second largest standing army. It's amazing that Kurdish gerîlas have done so for over twenty years without the 800,000-strong TSK being able to do a damned thing about it, and that's with billions of dollars worth of military toys from the US, including Joseph Ralston's very own Lockheed Martin. After twenty years, the alleged deaths of 600 Turkish citizens averages out to just under 30 people per year. Good US ally Turkey, on the other hand has murdered 40,000 Kurds, ostensibly considered to be "citizens" of Turkey by Turkey, but Ralston does not include them in his body count. If we average out the the number of Kurds murdered by TSK over the same amount of time, we see that almost 2,000 Kurds have been murdered annually by the Turkish state.

Who's the terrorist here?

If PKK poses a "significant" threat to "regional security and [is] an impediment to improvements in the lives of the people on both sides of the border," then why hasn't regional security gone to hell earlier during the past 22 years? During the last unilateral PKK ceasefire, which lasted for six years, what was the Turkish government's "impediment to improvements in the lives of the people" on its side of the border? The sole impediment which caused Turkey to do nothing to repair the damage it caused during 80+ years of occupation is Turkey's racist policies toward the Kurdish people and its attempts at genocide of the Kurdish people. When given the opportunity, Turkey did nothing to improve the lives of its so-called citizens residing in "The Southeast."

It should also be noted that the single most serious threat to regional stability was the invasion of Iraq by the US in 2003 and continued US threats against the Iran. This threat to regional stability was not done to secure a few, limited cultural rights for anyone, nor was it undertaken to spread "democracy"; it was done to secure US interests, i.e. oil.

Is Ralston merely stupid or is he a liar?

Recently, the PKK has sought to hide its terrorist roots by cloaking its political demands in terms of local cultural and linguistic rights.

Wrong. PKK has offered a complete platform to politicize the entire peace process for Kurds in Turkey so that Kurds are able to possess full political rights (which include simple cultural and linguistic rights). All of the points of the platform are completely consistent with EU accession but this process, along with the current ceasefire, were dismissed out of hand by both the Ankara and Washington regimes. Ralston doesn't stop to think that it would seem ridiculous for a relative few thousand gerîlas, coupled with the support of almost 20 million Kurds under Turkish occupation, to continue the fight if the fight were just for a few "local cultural and linguistic rights." There is something much more serious going on here, in order to keep the entire population in a state of resistance to the regime, and that something is called "genocide."

Is Ralston merely stupid or is he a liar?

In 2004 the PKK resumed terrorist attacks against Turkish security forces, innocent civilians and foreign tourists.

Ralston wants us to believe he's unable to tell the difference between PKK operations and other operations, like TAK operations. In reality, Ralston knows the difference very well, but he's spreading the propaganda of his friends in the ruling military oligarchy which, in turn, serves to justify Ralston's tactical fighter aircraft sales to the same buddies.

Is Ralston merely stupid or is he a liar?

Its actions have been criticized by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Criticisms of atrocities committed by the Turkish government fill many more volumes than any of those committed by members of PKK, yet this fact is not brought up by Ralston. Even the relatively useless US State Department human rights report overwhelmingly lists Turkish atrocities by the US and NATO-trained and armed TSK.

Is Ralston merely stupid or is he a liar?

The conflict with the PKK has diverted Turkey's effort to join the EU and has fostered instead a permanent state of alarm throughout the country. Badly needed outside investment cannot be productively used to shore up underdeveloped south-eastern Turkey until the threat of terrorism recedes. Ironically, the continued existence of a terrorist group that cloaks itself in the mantle of Kurdish rights has impeded the progress for which Turkish Kurds aspire through economic development and the cooperation facilitated by EU human rights law.

Turkey began its EU process in the 1950s. PKK didn't begin operations until 1984. What "diverted Turkey's efforts" in the thirty-four years before PKK arrived on the scene? Again we have had a six-year unilateral ceasefire (PKK operations did not resume until 2005), and in that time, Turkey did nothing to repair the damage it inflicted on North Kurdistan even though there was plenty of opportunity to do so, including cultivating "[b]adly needed outside investment." Again, Turkey did nothing. The EU has also had plenty of opportunity to become involved in the Kurdish situation and to use EU human rights law to further concrete steps to Kurdish equality but, like Turkey, it did nothing. The EU has absolutely no intention of furthering Kurdish rights or equality, nor does the EU, Turkey, or the US have any right to force its economic system on the people of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

We see how that system is working in South Kurdistan. Privatization and globalization mean exploitation. In South Kurdistan we have seen basic services deteriorate to a neanderthal level for ordinary people, and while the poor get poorer, the rich get richer and foreign investment does nothing but serve the interests of the KDP and PUK. This is an excellent lesson for the people of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan and Osman Baydemir has it right when he says that local resources should be administered locally--not by a centralized fascist regime nor by greedy foreign investors. But how can we expect a member of the board of directors of Lockheed Martin to understand this?

Is Ralston merely stupid or is he a liar?

Several thousand PKK terrorists are based just over the Turkish border inside Iraq. The PKK has used Iraq as a base to pursue operations, train terrorists, and direct attacks against Turkey. Iraqi and U.S. forces have lacked the resources to root out this pocket of terrorist camps despite the continued insistence of Turkish authorities.

Several thousand PKK gerîlas are located inside Turkey itself. Turkey and Ralston say the contrary because it is Turkey's intention to reclaim the Mosul Vilayet. Turkey has sent tens of thousands of troops into South Kurdistan numerous times during the 1990s to "root out this pocket" of gerîla camps but has always failed in its efforts--in spite of US and NATO weaponry and training. Iraqi forces are too incompetent for a real fight and US forces are too lazy to engage in mountain combat. I mean, they'd actually have to get out of their humvees and hump it over those mountains the old-fashioned way if they were ordered to engage Kurdish gerîlas.

On top of that, the product which Ralston sells, the F-16, was used extensively by the Ankara regime to bomb Southern Kurdish villages repeatedly in the 1990s during Operation Northern Watch, an operation which is propagandized as "protection" or providing "safe haven" for the Kurds.

Is Ralston merely stupid or is he a liar?

We have reached a critical point in which the pressure of continued attacks has placed immense public pressure upon the Government of Turkey to take some military action. Ankara understands that military action, even within this small pocket of Iraq, could be potentially destabilizing and counter-productive to our joint goal of achieving a stable and strong Iraqi government.

We have reached a "critical point" because Ralston's buddies in the Deep State have fueled the Turkish nationalist monster through its media campaign, its educational system, and its state institutions--thus proving that Turkey has really changed nothing as far as the Copenhagen Criteria go. Since 1923 there have been three Kurdish uprisings against the fascist Ankara regime and twenty "pacification" efforts against Kurds by the regime. In every one of those efforts, military action has failed. What will be the point of further military action, except to enrich the vermin of the US military-industrial complex--of which Ralston is one--and the business interests of the Paşas? The only solution is a political solution as PKK has already offered.

Anyone who thinks differently is either merely stupid or is a liar.

In August 2006, Secretary Rice asked me to undertake the mission of Special Envoy for Countering the PKK. My appointment followed a period of two weeks in which the Turks seemed poised to cross the Iraq border on a mission to root out PKK fighters and destroy their camps. I was given responsibility for coordinating U.S. engagement with the Government of Turkey and the Government of Iraq to eliminate the terrorist threat of the PKK operating in northern Iraq and across the Turkey-Iraq border.

At the end of August, 2006, to be exact, less than a month after the filing period for the first half of the year ended, during which time Ralston was listed with the Senate as a lobbyist for Lockheed Martin, to sell tactical fighter aircraft:

Of course, if PKK is really a bunch of "terrorists," then why the objection to Turkey participating in the global War on Terror®? If Turkey is such a good ally of the US, why doesn't the US allow it to join the coalition? The alternative is to negotiate a political solution, which has been rejected. So the US is not interested in finding any solution to the so-called terrorist threat. Why? Think: Almighty Dollar.

Turkey is a sovereign state with a responsibility to defend its people. Ultimately, the Turkish government will have to take the steps it thinks are necessary to protect its citizens. Over the past six months we have explored what options are available with the Iraqis and Turks to remove the threat posed by this terrorist organization and restore peace to the border zone. Maintaining a peaceful border between Turkey and Iraq is important to our efforts to continue the reconstruction and development of Iraq. My goal was to come up with a set of actions that the U.S. Government, the Turkish government and the Iraqi government could take to eliminate the PKK threat.

If Turkey has a responsibility to defend its people, then we should define who those people are. Kurds are not Turks, so are they considered Turkey's "people?" If Turkey has a responsibility to defend its citizens, which Turkey claims that Kurds are, then why does Turkey genocide its citizens? What responsibility does Turkey have to protect its citizens, even if they are Kurds? Why does Turkey fail to prosecute security forces that murder, torture, and generally repress its citizens?

Another thing, why is it that the Ralston and the US ignore the very people with whose lives they are meddling--the Kurds of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan themselves? Why are they not included as part of Ralston's shuttle diplomacy? Why has DTP, which is the only legal representation of Kurds under Turkish repression, not been included, but KDP and PUK have? I mean, DTP has never been mentioned in connection with any of this.

Is Ralston merely stupid or is he a liar?

I have made half-dozen trips to Turkey and also met with Turkish officials in Europe and the United States. I met not only with Prime Minister Erdogan, Foreign Minister Gul, and the chief of the Turkish General Staff, but also with the Interior Minister of the Turkish National Police and intelligence organizations. Since last September, I have been to Iraq three times and again had meetings with President Talabani, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, and the Defense Minister, as well as with President Barzani of the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil.

[ . . . ]

In conjunction with counterparts, General Edip Baser and Iraqi Minister of State for Security al-Waili, we have tried to achieve movement on a series of steps that have to be taken by all three governments to be more effective in countering the PKK.

[ . . . ]

In general, we have successfully increased the amount of communication between the Turks and Iraqis. It is essential to the improvement of the situation that more and better channels of communication can be developed.

See? No DTP mentioned. Why is that? None of the other people involved in this high-level goat-screw have any business speaking for the people of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan. Not Erdogan, not Gul, not Buyukanit. Not any Turkish police types. Not Talabani, not Barzani, not al-Maliki, not Zebari. Not US officials, not EU officials. Only DTP and PKK have any legitimacy to speak for Northern Kurds. Why have they not been consulted?

Is Ralston merely stupid or is he a liar?

Movement toward closure of the Makhmour refuge camp, which had become a refuge for PKK fighters in the safety of northern Iraq. An agreement structuring the voluntary return of Makhmour camp residents to Turkey and on the camp's disposition is being worked out between Turkey, Iraq, and the UNHCR. Practical steps have had to be dealt with. The camp needed to be cleared of any PKK personnel, all the arms needed to be removed from the camp, UNHCR needed to register every person in the camp -- man, woman, and child -- and everyone in the camp needed to be interviewed to determine their intention to return to Turkey or to remain in Iraq. All of this, except the survey of intentions, has been accomplished. We will continue to work with UNHCR, the Turks and the Iraqis on how to close the camp and what sort of assistance will be needed to encourage the residents to either repatriate or resettle.

On March 5, the three parties held their most recent trilateral meeting to discuss the closure of the camp. Although the discussion did not finalize the agreement, they made substantive progress.

The US itself raided Maxmur in January and not a single bullet was found, but here is Liar Ralston in Congress, saying that "[t]he camp needed to be cleared of any PKK personnel" and "all the arms needed to be removed from the camp." But there were no arms. There was no mention of any "PKK personnel." The UN census proved the civilian nature of the camp, in spite of State Department liars claiming the contrary. The former State Department murderer Richard Holbrooke went to Maxmur and still there were no reports of "PKK personnel" or weapons, and State Department liar, Daniel Fried, then repeated Turkey's lies about Maxmur.

Here we finally have an answer to our question of whether Ralston is merely stupid or if he's a liar. He's a liar.

Of course, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Europe probably wants to be lied to when it comes to Turkey. Congressman Robert Wexler founded the Congressional Turkey Caucus, won a "leadership" award from the ATC, all for the sake of Israel. He even participates in the ATC's annual conference. But that may be because he's heavily involved with the ATC, as is Joe Ralston himself.

Yet Wexler recognizes a political solution with Hamas.

What's in Wexler's wallet? Inquiring minds wanna know.

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