Saturday, June 30, 2007


"At the time of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in September 2001, the United States had publicly acknowledged SOFAs with ninety-three countries, although some SOFAs are so embarrassing to the host nation that they are kept secret, particularly in the Islamic world.3 Thus, the true number is not publicly known."
~ Chalmers Johnson.

The Bases Are Loaded.

The Bases Are Loaded discusses the permanent bases being established in South Kurdistan and Iraq, mentioning that two permanent US bases are being built in South Kurdistan. One of those specifically named is located in Hewlêr.

However, there is no discussion in the video of the immoral and criminal activity that plague local populations that have the misfortune of having a US base in their midst. South Kurdistan needs to ask itself if it is prepared to have American military-sponsored crime inflicted on the people of Kurdistan.

I first learned of this problem through reading Chalmers Johnson's book, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic--a good read that I highly recommend. Recently Johnson spoke about the problem of US imperial bases and their effects on local populations in an interview for his most recent book in the Blowback Trilogy, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic:

In the southernmost prefecture of Japan, Okinawa, site of the Battle of Okinawa in 1945, there’s a small island, smaller than Kauai in the Hawaiian islands, with 1,300,000 Okinawans. There's thirty-seven American military bases there. The revolt against them has been endemic for fifty years. The governor is always saying to the local military commander, “You're living on the side of a volcano that could explode at any time.” It has exploded in the past. What this means is just an endless, nonstop series of sexually violent crimes, drunken brawls, hit-and-run accidents, environmental pollution, noise pollution, helicopters falling out of the air from Futenma Marine Corps Air Base and falling onto the campus of Okinawa International University. One thing after another. Back in 1995, we had one of the most serious incidents, when two Marines and a sailor abducted, beat and raped a twelve-year-old girl. This led to the largest demonstrations against the United States since we signed the security treaty with Japan decades ago. It's this kind of thing.

I first went to Okinawa in 1996. I was invited by then-Governor Ota in the wake of the rape incident. I’ve devoted my life to the study of Japan, but like many Japanese, many Japanese specialists, I had never been in Okinawa. I was shocked by what I saw. It was the British Raj. It was like Soviet troops living in East Germany, more comfortable than they would be back at, say, Oceanside, California, next door to Camp Pendleton. And it was a scandal in every sense.

[ . . . ]

As I began to study the network of bases around the world and the incidents that have gone with them and the military coups that have brought about regime change and governments that we approve of, I began to realize that Okinawa was not unusual; it was, unfortunately, typical.

Typical. The American Friends Service Committee lists ten reasons to get rid of US military bases, with explanations:

1. Bases increase the likelihood of war.

2. Bases provide a launching point for nuclear attack.

3. Bases undermine the sovereignty of nations.

4. Bases hurt democracy and human rights.

5. Often bases are built on seized property.

6. Bases reinforce violent and dehumanizing treatment of women and girls [Note: With the severe problems of patriarchal society widespread throughout Kurdistan, an example of which is a recent KurdishMedia report that every 24 hours a Kurdish woman in South Kurdistan sets herself on fire, US military bases will reinforce the indigenous and endemic repression of Kurdish women. In light of the case of the stoning of Doa Khalil Aswad, American military sexual predation will prove a great setback to efforts at improving the situation of Kurdish women.].

7. Bases condone criminal activities committed by US troops.

8. Bases cause environmental contamination and serious health risks.

9. Bases bring the risk of life-threatening accidents.

10. Military bases are expensive and divert funding from addressing urgent needs at home and abroad.

There is more on the negative effects of US military bases on women and children in East Asia at FPIF. Also mentioned in the FPIF report is a little thing called "Status of Forces Agreement" (SOFA). These are agreements which are written so that US troops who commit crimes are protected and do not have to bear responsibility for their behavior. The other side of this protection is that local populations are left with no protection from American predation.

The nature of the way in which the US military trains its personnel creates and reinforces predation against local populations, according to a retired US marine:

If the military is capable of producing "personalities" that kill babies, rape women, and torture the innocent, then what is responsible for the degradation and dissolution of these military personnel? How and why do U.S. soldiers lose their humanity? A closer examination of military recruit training may shed some light on these questions.

[ . . . ]

. . . [R]eturning troops report that none of their training prepared them for what they experienced in Iraq. "You can train up all you want, but you're not going to be prepared until you get here and mingle with the culture," explained Spc. Travis Gillette, an Army infantryman who served in Iraq.

Gillette's advice reveals the contradiction of U.S. occupation. Indeed, learning about Iraqi culture and its people might, on the one hand, improve relations between U.S. soldiers and the civilian population. Yet on the other, the danger is that, as a result, soldiers may sympathize with the Iraqi people and turn against U.S. war aims and its justifications. In fact, keeping a greater distance between troops and the civilian population is one of the lessons the military learned from the Vietnam War, a war in which large numbers of troops turned against the war and discovered that the real enemy was the military itself, particularly from 1968 to 1973.

NGOs have studied the problem of US imperial bases and support Chalmers Johnson's research and documentation, as in this study from the Asia-Pacific Research Network:

US overseas military bases reflect the need for the US to project visible and psychological presence and commitment to a country or region. Following the logic of neocolonialism, US bases are a stark reminder and real source of control over a nation without necessitating formal political control over its territorial sovereignty. It can be likened to a loaded gun pointed at the government and peoples of its host country. Its mere presence intimidates and gives coercive power for the US to gain concessions from the host and allows it to interfere, in most cases with impunity, in internal affairs, commit crimes and violence on local people, wreak grave social costs and environmental destruction.

[ . . . ]

Through its military bases and access agreements, the US makes its presence felt in an ever widening circle driven by its greed for resources and markets. However, as this circle tries to expand, it encounters resistance as it faces the ire of oppressed people of the world. Nations have also stood firm in their assertion of sovereignty and independence against the onslaught of imperial greed and power. The people under the claws of neo-colonial control are steadfastly fighting for national liberation to break free from the shackles of imperialism.

This is happening in the Philippines, India, Nepal, Turkey, Peru and Colombia, where national liberation movements have arisen and have developed in accordance with the strategic line of protracted people's war. As the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens, these revolutionary wars will intensify and will spread. The massive anti-war wave of opposition against the US shows the anger of the peoples worldwide and their will to fight against imperialism and war. The great wish of the peoples is to live in peace and brotherhood, without the horror of war, without exploiters and oppressors.

There is no reason to believe that American troops will behave any differently toward the Kurdish people. Remember, they attacked Salahaddin University, KDP special forces, PUK pêşmerge, and raided the Iranian consulate in Hewlêr.

Additionally, Amnesty International has documented US efforts to undermine SOFA's through what amounts to a negation of SOFA's in an attempt to thwart the International Criminal Court--Impunity Agreements. Impunity agreements nullify any punishment for American wrongdoing. Such agreements remove the right of the "host" country from deciding which courts will investigate and try Americans for crimes committed in its territory and extradition provisions are renegotiated. Moreover, "the decision to investigate or prosecute is a matter solely within the discretion of the USA and not a matter of law." In other words, the US makes the decision, not the authorities of the victimized population. Certain countries have openly refused to sign Impunity Agreements with the US; among them are Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia. Countries that have ongoing "peace" or "antiterrorist" operations seem to be under the greatest pressure to cave in to the absurd demands of the US over Impunity Agreements, and it should be noted that before Marc Grossman suddenly retired from the State Department, he was one of the bureaucratic heavies issuing threats in order to gain compliance.

But there's another serious problem to consider in relation to US military bases, and that is the problem of US military contractors or mercenaries. It's bad enough that that US troops can not be held accountable for their actions, but there is no oversight whatsoever for US mercenaries, such as those employed by civilian fascists such as Blackwater USA, KBR Halliburton, Bechtel, and Dyncorp, among others. As recently as February 2007, a KBR Halliburton mercenary slashed the thoat of an Iraqi woman at Al-Asad Airbase.

Perhaps one of the most notorious examples of US mercenary crime was the sex slave ring run by Dyncorp in Bosnia, in which local women were buying women as young as 12 (if you can call a 12-year-old a woman) and keeping them as sex slaves. The vermin involved with these crimes have something in common with the vermin in Egypt who purchased Anfal women from the Saddam regime--they were never punished.

Another example, from Iraq, of the violent nature of US mercenaries is carried in a recent issue of the Armed Forces Journal:

As they headed to the Baghdad airport in July, two security guards working for the contract firm Triple Canopy say they were stunned when their supervisor declared that he intended that day to kill somebody.

The supervisor then fired his M4 rifle into the windshield of a parked truck, the two guards claim in court documents. Later in the day the supervisor fired half a dozen handgun rounds into a passing taxi, possibly killing the driver, the two guards allege.

No investigation followed and no disciplinary action was taken against the alleged shooter, who returned to the United States, say the two who have filed a suit in a U.S. court. They're suing, they say, because they were wrongfully fired by Triple Canopy after they reported the incident.

According to the article, the US military is creating laws to deal with their lawless mercenaries but until a long track-record of serious punishments has been firmly established, there's no point in the KRG volunteering Kurds as guinea pigs in what, at this point, is dubious justice. Since the US plans to remain in Iraq and South Kurdistan for the next several decades, Kurds at least must think long and hard about what they are getting into when it comes to having the US military as neighbors.

Remember the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for."

Hevallo has some fantastic photos of all those who turned out for Orhan Doğan's funeral. Plus, be sure to check out a great post on the situation in North Kurdistan at Zanetî. Vahe at Hyelog has an article about a Paşa who may face trial for calling Hrant Dink a "traitor." Apparently, the charges have been brought by Dink's family.

Hehehe . . . I hope they hang the bastard.

Friday, June 29, 2007


"A warrior must only take care that his spirit is never broken."
~ Shissai.

Orhan Doğan, 1955-2007.

A Kurdish warrior died today.

Orhan Doğan was not the kind of warrior who carried an AK-47, but he was a warrior nonetheless, having spent his life in the service of the Kurdish cause, fighting for the dignity of the Kurdish people under Turkish occupation.

From Amnesty International's summary of the DEP parliamentarians' case:

Orhan Dogan was born in 1955 in the Derik district of Mardin province. He is a lawyer by profession - a graduate of Ankara University Law Faculty - but for a time was an official in Ankara's Primary School Education Directorate. After the 1980 military coup he resigned as a state employee and started working as a lawyer in the district of Cizre, Sirnak province.

Orhan Dogan devoted a great deal of time working for the Sirnak branch of the HRA [IHD]. Bomb attacks against his home and workplace in 1989, 1990 and 1991 caused severe damage. In the October 1991 general elections he was elected as a member of parliament for Sirnak.

We know what followed:

At their inauguration as members of parliament in 1991, Leyla Zana and Hatip Dicle made brief statements in Kurdish, and Leyla Zana wore the traditional Kurdish colours of red, yellow and green in her headband. Orhan Dogan and Hatip Dicle wore handkerchiefs in their breast pockets in the same colours. After taking the oath of loyalty in Turkish as required, Leyla Zana added in Kurdish: "I have completed this formality under duress. I shall struggle so that the Kurdish and Turkish peoples may live peacefully together in a democratic framework". These actions provoked pandemonium in the parliamentary chamber. There were cries of "separatist!", "traitor!", "arrest her!" and even "hang her!", and legal proceedings were immediately initiated. Although the deputies were initially protected from prosecution by their parliamentary immunity, in February 1994 Prime Minister Tansu Çiller and the Chief of General Staff began moves which eventually brought about the deputies' trial and conviction.

[ . . . ]

Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan and Selim Sadak were never accused of any acts of violence or of advocacy of violence. Indeed most of the statements for which they were convicted contained strong pleas for a peaceful solution to the conflict in southeast Turkey and an end to the bloodshed. The verdict relied heavily on the deputies' public speeches and writings quoted in the indictment -in which the deputies repeatedly assert the Kurdish minority to be a group with a distinct identity but do not advocate violence - as evidence of their membership of the PKK. The acts condemned by the judgment as being evidence of membership of the PKK include: a press statement in connection with the swearing of the parliamentary oath; the "wearing of yellow, green and red accessories" while swearing the oath; a public statement to the United Nations on 2 April 1992 calling for investigation of the killing of civilians during disturbances at the time of Nevruz, the Kurdish new year, of 21 March 1992; and a petition of 20 November 1991 to the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (now the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE) calling for that organization to appoint a human rights monitoring body to Turkey.

A bloodless battle, that was Orhan Doğan's battle and it is as necessary to the struggle as the legitimate armed resistance outlined in UN Resolution 3103.

Hevallo has more.

Şev xoş, Heval Orhan.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."
~ Anonymous.

Your domestic housecat comes from the Middle East, or so say genetic researchers in a report aired today by NPR:

The progenitor of pet cats is the wildcat, known officially as Felis silvestris. Wildcats are small, striped or spotted cats that live in many parts of the world, including Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Researcher Carlos Driscoll says that wildcats look very much like pet tabbies.

[ . . . ]

When they looked at the genes of wildcats, they found a distinct sub-species in each region that this cat calls home: Europe, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, China and the Middle East.

Then, they looked at the genes of pet cats.

"These all coalesce into a group that is virtually identical to one of the subspecies," O'Brien says. "[From] the group that comes from the Middle East or Near East."

That's a strong indication people domesticated cats — or, cats domesticated people — in the Middle East.

This is where agriculture was first seen more than 9,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent. The researchers suspect that as people started to store grain, the grain attracted mice.

One of the most ancient, permanent agricultural settlements in the Middle East is, indeed, found in the Fertile Crescent. In fact, that settlement is found in the most fertile part of the Fertile Crescent--Kurdistan. Specifically, that would be in a little place known to archaeologists as Jarmo, near Kerkuk:

At Jarmo itself, the team excavated an early farming village dating to about 9,000 BP [approx. 7050 BCE or BC]. Using much the same seed processing technology as their immediate gathering predecessors, the Jarmo people no longer moved their residences with the seasons. Analyses of plant and animal remains suggested that the process of domestication was underway. This early agricultural village is at the base of an archaeological record of larger and increasingly sophisticated agrarian settlements that characterize the Near Eastern archaeological record leading to the first state level societies in Mesopotamia about 5,500 BP [approx. 3550 BCE or BC].

Other areas in Kurdistan also contributed to the revolution:

Evidence indicates that the Middle East in general was one of the earliest areas to experience what the Australian archaeologist V. Gordon Childe called the Neolithic Revolution. That revolution witnessed the development of settled, village-based agricultural life. Kurdistan (Western Iran) has yielded much evidence on the history of these important developments. In the early Neolithic (sometimes called the Mesolithic) period, evidence of significant shifts in tool making, settlement patterns, and subsistence living -- including nascent domestication of both plants and animals -- comes from such important Kurdish sites as Asiab (Asíyaw), Guran, Ganj-e Dareh (Genjí Dara), and Ali Khosh (Elí xosh). Similar developments in the Zagros are also traceable at sites such as Karim Shahir and Zawi Chemi-Shanidar. This early experimentation with sedentary life and domestication was soon followed by a period of fully developed village farming, as is evident at important Zagros sites such as Jarmo, Sarab, upper Ali Kosh, and upper Guran. All of these sites date wholly or in part to the 8th and 7th millennia BC, (see Archaeology section).

The transition from food-gathering to food-production began within the natural territorial ranges of the early domesticates' wild ancestors, in the general area of the Zagros Mountains. Additionally, the present evidence strongly points to the foothill valleys along the Kurdish mountain chains (with a spur stretching into Samaria) as being the main geographic setting of this transition.

Ancient Kurdistan, it would appear, has contributed more to Western Civilization than simply agriculture. It has also served as the real-world source of the myth of the Garden of Eden.

Myth aside, once humans began to engage in sedentary agriculture, there was a need for the wildcat to become domesticated in order to battle mice. And so the relationship between man and domestic cat began. Perhaps the idea of taming the wildcat came from the domesication of the dog, which the ancient people of Kurdistan would have needed to protect their flocks of goats and sheep. As Dr. Mehrdad Izady wrote:

The fact that Halaf culture spread so rapidly over such a considerable distance across the rugged Kurdish mountains is thought to have been the result of the development of a new life style and economic activity necessitating mobility, namely nomadic herding. All of the pre-requisite technologies had been developed, and essential animals, particularly the dog, had been domesticated by settled agriculturalists. Halafian figures of dogs (ca. 6000 BC) with upcurled tails unlike that of any specie of wolf, were unearthed in Jarmo in central Kurdistan. They provide the earliest definitive evidence of the development of man's "best friend" and the herder's most prized protection. Nomadic herding has since been a very mobile cornerstone of Zagros-Taurus cultures and societies.

Such curly-tailed dogs can still be seen in modern day Kurdistan, daily accompanying shepherds and their flocks, while goats and sheep still remain an important source of wealth for many Kurdish people. Thus, the destruction of villages, crops, and livestock by the Ankara regime has had a devastating effect on the economy of North Kurdistan.

As for that other ancient inhabitant of Kurdistan, the cat, it's still there, although judging by the sad examples I saw in Hewlêr, they have not improved their lot very much from the days when Jarmo thrived.

Istanbul, on the other hand, has more of Kurdistan's domesticated cats than any other place on earth I've seen. Perhaps the cats were forcibly displaced and necessity urged them to seek a livelihood elsewhere, as has happened to so many Kurds.

Or maybe there are just a hell of a lot more rodents in Istanbul than in Kurdistan.

Monday, June 25, 2007


"With all due respect to Hillary Clinton and her current posturing, she is—frankly speaking—a damn liar and should be treated as such, and never be given the opportunity to lead the United States of America."
~ Scott Ritter.

Is Hillary Clinton horning in on Hastert's financial turf?

Some of you may remember that among the many pieces of information Sibel Edmonds has been able to reveal, one of those was the Turkish bribing of former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert:

The FBI refused to investigate Edmonds’ claims, at least in part, because the contract linguist had discovered quite a messy scandal: the content of the mistranslated documents revealed that some very powerful people in the U.S. government, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, were connected to foreign organized crime. Even worse, these foreign criminals connected to the high and mighty in the U.S. were also connected internationally, through the heroin trade and associated money laundering, to international terrorist organizations like al Qaeda.

And, from the original Vanity Fair article:

Edmonds has given confidential testimony inside a secure Sensitive Compartmented Information facility on several occasions: to congressional staffers, to investigators from the O.I.G., and to the staff from the 9/11 commission. Sources familiar with this testimony say that, in addition to her allegations about the Dickersons, she reported hearing Turkish wiretap targets boast that they had a covert relationship with a very senior politician indeed—Dennis Hastert, Republican congressman from Illinois and Speaker of the House since 1999. The targets reportedly discussed giving Hastert tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information. “The Dickersons,” says one official familiar with the case, “are only the tip of the iceberg.”

And there's more, from Lukery's Kill The Messenger blog, including information from one of the directors of Kill the Messenger:

His [David Rose, author of the Vanity Fair article] testimony helps strengthening the pillars of the story - yes, the tapes involved Turkish officials, some of them working for the embassy in the Washington, and others in the consulate in Chicago. Money in exchange secrets, basically what we could read in Vanity Fair… When that was done, he described how he found out about Hastert, and then alluded to what we expose in the last segment of the film: the Neocons connection.

So, what are we to think when one of Hillary's Chicago fundraisers is also a leader in Chicago's Turkish community? One Mehmet Çelebi:

The major contributors could help Clinton draw support from Obama, argued another Clinton fundraiser, businessman Mehmet Celebi, a leader in Chicago's Turkish community.

"People will assume these big names must know something," Celebi said.

Yeah, those major contributors must know something . . . Like how well all those Turkish bribes helped turn Hastert against a House resolution that he'd initially supported--the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

Çelebi on why he helped with the production of Kurtlar Vadisi İrak:

Celebi, who has lived in the United States for 15 years, tells us why he took part in this project as a person who wants the relationship of the two countries to be at its best: “Knowing the truth, being on the side of the ones who have been done wrong, are two of the characteristics of an American. Also the founders of the country were those who had been done wrong. This movie has been shot under the light of these truths.”

Sure, sure . . . Kurtlar Vadisi İrak was truth par excellence and it was film par excellence . . . well, at least on the level of Birth of a Nation. But there's more on Çelebi's bio:

Mehmet’s experience in management and finance spans the globe. Professionally, Mehmet worked in a management capacity at some of the world’s largest financial institutions and has provided financial guidance to many high-net worth individuals and celebrities as well as corporations.

[ . . . ]

Mehmet is also an authority on international relations. He has worked with various political leaders from Turkey as well as other countries on issues dealing with Turkish-American relations and Turkey at large, and is considered one of the national leaders of the Turkish-American community in the US. He has been serving as the President of the Turkish-American Cultural Alliance since 2000, and as Member of the Board/Vice-President of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations, a Washington, D.C. based umbrella organization representing 57 organizations.

Mehmet has also been a member of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations’, “Task Force on Islamic relations in the US,” since 2003.

Now I ask you, how could MIT pass up a guy with that kind of talent and those kinds of connections?

Apparently, Çelebi knows money, but what I want to know is whether or not the money he's handled has been dusted with a little heroin. That's something that Hillary Clinton should be interested to know, too. If she were nice about it, she might ask Dennis Hastert.

Maybe it's just natural that Hillary should turn to the Turkish-American community for campaign financing. After all, her husband's administration did a lot of business with Turkey which helped to enrich all of those who've grown fat from arming repressive regimes.

And let's not forget that some of the Clinton's favorite playmates were William Cohen, Marc Grossman, and Joseph Ralston.

Smells like Deep State to me.

If anyone thinks there will be regime change in a Democratic 2008, they are woefully mistaken.

Thanks, Miguel.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


"Less vocal – or heard -- were those critics who said Saddam was executed before he could stand trial for his worst atrocities. A just trial, these critics say, would have also charged or subpoenaed many of the world leaders, arms merchants and oil companies that supported him."
~ Amy Goodman, Democracy Now.

They're at it again. The fascists. You know, the people at Little Green Footballs, Captain's Quarters, Gateway Pundit, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Jawa Report, among others. They're crowing over the fact that Ali Hassan al-Majid, et. al., are going to be hanged for Anfal.

The irony here is that this same herd of fascists regularly call for the death of Muslims, yet they appear satisfied that Saddam's minions have received death sentences for murdering Muslims. I mean, Kurds are a majority Muslim people, right? And Kurds in and around Helebçe tend to be more religious than others. Now, Saddam and his cousin, Chemical Ali, managed to rid the world of some 5,000 of these Muslim Kurds in about an hour--without mentioning all those severely and chronically wounded by chemical weapons--a fact that the fascists should be applauding if they are consistent in their across-the-board hatred of Muslims.

Maybe someone can resolve this inconsistency for me.

In the meantime, Barry Lando has written his opinion of the outcome of the Anfal trial. He's the one whose series of videos, Web of Deceit, were posted here yesterday. Perhaps Lando's obsession explains why the fascists rejoice:

All the key players in the media were there to capture the dramatic courtroom scene. What none of the reporters mentioned however was that when Saddam and Chemical Ali and the rest of Saddam killers were doing their worst, the U.S. governments of Ronald Reagan and later George Bush Senior were their de facto allies, providing them with vital satellite intelligence, weapons and financing, while shielding them from U.N. investigations or efforts by the U.S. Congress to impose trade sanctions for their depredations.

I admit to being somewhat obsessed by the subject, but perhaps someone can explain how it is that none of the accounts of Sunday’s session that I’ve read mention in any fashion how close were the ties of the U.S. and Saddam—and how carefully the U.S. and its Iraqi allies have manipulated the Tribunal from the beginning so that the complicity of the U.S. and other Western countries with Saddam and his crimes are never discussed.?

You can watch or listen to an interview with Lando on Western complicity in Iraq at Democracy Now, and there's another article by Lando on how Bush père helped Saddam crush the 1991 uprising.

In coming months, the last bits of dirt will be swept under the rug and fascists the world over will be able to sleep a little easier by thinking that the truth about Anfal lies moldering in the grave. That will be the case unless all the documentary evidence from the trial is translated and published, barring, of course, the documents falling victim to some "state secrets privilege" or the physical and convenient "loss" of the documents. Meanwhile, those who aided the murder of almost 200,000 Kurds in the late 1980s walk freely, many in the halls of power in Washington and other foreign capitals, and they do so without the aid of crutches, wheelchairs, or respirators.

Has justice been done for the Kurdish people? Not on your life.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


"I will kill them [Kurds] all with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them! The international community and those who listen to them."
~ Ali Hassan al-Majid.

I came across this series of Youtube videos through an article by Barry Lando at Truthdig.

In light of the fact that the US and Shi'a bumbled a rushed execution of Saddam specifically in order to cover up US invovlement in the Anfal campaign. Of course, the US had to cover up the complicity of NATO-ally Turkey's involvement in the chemical genociding of Kurds. In a piece of news that briefly flashed unnoticed through the media at the end of last year:

And, in a revelation likely to stir anger among Kurdish survivors, the memo orders the Iraqi officers “to cooperate with the Turkish side, according to the cooperation protocol with them to chase all the refugees”. No detail was given of the alleged agreement between Turkey and Iraq. Ankara has long opposed the idea of an independent Kurdish homeland in northern Iraq, but it has never been proved that Turkey cooperated with Saddam’s forces during Anfal, which prosecutors describe as a genocide. While the document touching on Turkish links was read out, sound was cut off to trial reporters and no discussion of the memo could be heard, although the Arabic-language document could still be read on the court screens.


Evidence relating to Saddam Hussein's alleged use of poison gas against Kurdish civilians was given to his genocide trial in secret on Thursday, so as not to embarrass Turkey.

After seeing a string of memos issued by Saddam's chief of staff in 1988 ordering "special ammunition" attacks, the court cut off its microphones while studying documents relating to Iraq's northern neighbour.

"We will now cut the microphones because this concerns Iraqi-Turkish relations," said chief prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon, who then presented various documents while the sound in the reporters' box was cut off.

No details were given of the evidence presented in this part of the trial, nor was it explained how it touched on Turkey.

Turkey has long used chemical weapons against the PKK, and even as late as last year. Turkey has also used Greek Cypriots as guinea pigs to test chemical weapons. Since the information appeared last year in a brief by The Defense and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, all of this news is well known by the Washington regime, as well as every other government on the planet. Of course, it's not unusual for fascist regimes like Turkey to gas "undesirable" populations. Germany did the same thing during World War 2. Nor is it unusual for the international community to be complicit with the gassing of "undesirables."

For more on Turkish aggression plans, check an article from the American Hellenic Institute, and DozaMe had a post on Turkey's use of chemical weapons against PKK in 2003.

I have one other comment on Barry Lando's article. His Chemical Ali quote is inaccurate. Lando uses the following:

One of the voices was identified by prosecutors as that of Saddam’s cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, who came to be known as Chemical Ali, scornfully dismissing concern that foreign powers might react to Saddam’s using chemical weapons against the Kurds.

“I will strike them [the Kurds] with chemical weapons and kill them all,” he was heard saying. “Who is going to say anything? The international community? A curse on the international community!

Ali Hassan al-Majid did not say, "A curse on the international community." What he actually said, which was recorded on tape, is the following:

I will kill them all with chemical weapons! Who is going to say anything? The international community? Fuck them! The international community and those who listen to them.

Al-Majid said, "Fuck them!" so why is it that the West consistently misquotes al-Majid? Is it that the West is afraid to use the word "fuck?" Is that because the word is considered "obscene?" This is ironic in the extreme because which is truly obscene, the use of the word "fuck" or the use of chemical weapons?

And let's not forget that the attitude summarized in al-Majid's exclamation of "Fuck them!" is the exact same attitude the international community and the American administration continues to hold against all those who refuse to acquiesce to imperialism.

There is in no way any distinction between Ali Hassan al-Majid, on the one hand, and the American regime, with its toadies in the international community, on the other.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


"Describing the Internet as the Network of Networks is like calling the Space Shuttle, a thing that flies."
~ John Lester.

From Technology Review.

The shape of the online universe. This image shows the hierarchical structure of the Internet, based on the connections between individual nodes (such as service providers). Three distinct regions are apparent: an inner core of highly connected nodes, an outer periphery of isolated networks, and a mantle-like mass of peer-connected nodes. The bigger the node, the more connections it has. Those nodes that are closest to the center are connected to more well-connected nodes than are those on the periphery.

The core: At the center of the Internet are about 80 core nodes through which most traffic flows. Remove the core, and 70 percent of the other nodes are still able to function through peer-to-peer connections.

The periphery: At the very edge of the Internet are 5,000 or so isolated nodes that are the most dependent upon the core and become cut off if the core is removed or shut down. Yet those nodes within this periphery are able to stay connected because of their peer-to-peer connections.

The article.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


"If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters."
~ Alan Simpson.

From comments on Sunday's post:

Anonymous said:

I wonder if you have any take on what Juan Cole wrote today:

"PKK Leader Warns Turkey on Incursions

Michael Howard of the Guardian interviewed a Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) guerrilla commander in northern Iraq. Money graf:

'The Turkish army faces "a political and military disaster" if its generals give orders for a cross-border offensive, Cemil Bayik, one of the two most powerful figures in the Kurdistan Workers party, or PKK, told the Guardian at a hideout in the Qandil mountains on the border with Iran. Mr Bayik said his units did not seek a fight, but "would defend ourselves if attacked". It could become "a quagmire for them [the Turkish army] and create space for Iran to interfere in Iraq also," he said. '

Bayik's mindset is revealed when he talks about Turkish plans of 'annihilating Kurdishness.' Actually, things have changed in the past 30 years, though the good Lord knows that much remains to be done in ensuring that Turkish Kurds are first class citizens (not a goal that will be reached by thuggish, murderous PKK tactics). First of all, Turkish Kurds have spread all over Turkey as guest workers. There are millions living in cities such as Istanbul and other industrial centers. Political scientists studying their voting patterns have found that they vote like other Turkish citizens living in the same place. That is, Kurds in Istanbul vote like the Turks in surrounding neighborhoods. There is no pan-Kurdish political identity in Turkey. Only a tiny proportion of Turkish Kurds supports the PKK, which has a very nasty history as a far-left terrorist group that killed thousands."

Have things changed in the last 30 years? Or is Cole yet another victim of Deep State propoganda?

Mizgîn said:

I always have the same take on everything that the nutty professor writes, Anonymous.

Juan Cole doesn't know shit about the founding ideology of the TC. If he did, he would know that the goal of the regime has been to annihilate the Kurdish people.

If the Turkish regime was only concerned about putting down rebellions, why did it slaughter a quarter of a million Kurds following the Şêx Seîd rebellion, which was relatively small and inefficient? Why the Resettlement Law of the 1930s? Why Law No. 1850, which made it legal to murder Kurds from the period June 20, 1930 to December 10, 1930?

Or how about something from another recent piece of anti-Kurd propaganda by the same nutty professor:

Barzani neglected to mention the 35,000 dead in PKK's dirty war, or that he is actively harboring 5,000 PKK guerrillas.

If we're to believe Juan Cole, there is something we must accept. Either PKK just popped out of nowhere and decided to fight for the hell of it, or Juan Cole has never heard of September 12 coup. I find it extremely difficult to believe that Cole has never heard of September 12 since, after all, it was HIS government that backed the coup. Prior to that coup, PKK was a political organization. It was America's coup in Turkey that fueled the Dirty War in more ways than one, but Cole NEVER mentions anything about that, does he? According to him, "Shit just happens."


I can't imagine the Turkish public standing for a massacre of Turkmen, and hundreds of thousands of people in the street could force Buyukanit to act decisively.

No, but Cole better be able to imagine the Turkish public standing for the massacre of a million Kurds in the last 80+ years, because that's exactly what's happened. And if Cole were familiar with the definition of genocide according to international law, he'd know that Turkey is guilty of genocide of Kurds . . . just as it is guilty of genocide of Armenians.

Oh, yeah, PKK has also apologized for the Kurdish role in the Armenian Genocide, something that Turkey has never done. Even the US doesn't recognize there ever was an Armenian Genocide. Nor does Israel.

So Cole is totally wrong to criticize Cuma for mentioning the annihilation of Kurdishness. That's been the single goal of the TC from Day 1. If a Kurd exists anywhere on earth, it means the foundation of the TC was a lie.

If Juan Cole is the know-it-all that everyone on the American left believes, then why does he say that there are 5,000 gerîlas in "Northern Iraq" when not even Erdoğan says that? Whoever knows the geography of Kurdistan knows that it's impossible for gerîlas at Qendil to race up to Dersim on foot, pull off an operation, and then race back to Qendil (so much for the "hot pursuit" bullshit). And it's very simple to figure out the distance if you know how to read and use a map--a skill which Juan Cole obviously lacks. But, if you know the geography, you know that the gerîlas cannot be in Dersim or Bingöl conducting operations and then back at Qendil for dinner.

Unless, of course, you believe in bilocation.

"Political scientists studying voting patterns, blah, blah, blah . . . " Which political scientists? Who are they? Where's the study? Do you know about census taking in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan? Kurds lie on the census. Think about that long and hard to see if you can figure out why that is.

And let's say, for the sake of argument, that all Kurds do vote like Turks and that there is no "pan-Kurdish identity" . . . maybe that's because there is no alternative.

What's been happening to DTP since the end of March, 2006? Did Juan Cole read the court transcripts of speeches Osman Baydemir gave during the Amed Serhildan and the crowd's reactions? So on what does Cole base his claim that "only a tiny proportion of Turkish Kurds supports the PKK?" Or is that more talking through his ass?

It appears that Cole just loves to talk about how violent PKK allegedly is. But he never says anything about any of the violence of the Ankara regime, does he? I mean, he's never said anything about the regime's violence. NEVER. Now I may not be some fancy effing professor who's grown roots in the sacred ivory tower of academe, but I know what reality is and I know who's done what to whom. And I can even dig up human rights reports to back it up.

Cole can't and that's why he never has. Check his record--he's NEVER breathed so much as a word about the thuggish, murderous regime tactics, tactics that will never reach the goal of peace.

Cole also fails to mention the ceasefire, not the current one and not any other. He doesn't mention the fact that the Ankara regime had 6 years in which to prove it's good intentions by repairing the severe damage that it inflicted on The Region and its people during the regime-sponsored Dirty War. In fact, as I said at the end of the Amed Serhildan, we are going back to the Dirty War, to the 1990s, and guess what? We have.

A former Clinton NATO commander is selling tactical fighter aircraft to Turkey at the rate of $13 billion under the cover of "special envoy to coordinate the PKK for Turkey," because, as everyone with half a brain cell knows, Turkey can't "coordinate the PKK" worth a damn. They couldn't capture Öcalan could they? They had to have the US and Israel, with the support of the international community, do that for them.

It was Clinton's former NATO commander who rejected the current ceasefire before it even went into effect. I guess peace is just not the way to sell military hardware.

(Notice that Cole doesn't mention anything at all about all those illegal weapons sales to Turkey over the years, especially during the Clinton administration.)

Nor does Cole mention PKK's Declaration for the Democratic Resolution of the Kurdish Question, the points of which are entirely consistent with the Copenhagen Criteria.

Imagine for a moment if it were Arabs or Persians being treated like Kurds by the Ankara regime. What would be Cole's reaction?

What Cole is doing is using Kurds as his own little pawns with which to bash the Bush administration, instead of bashing EVERY AMERICAN ADMINISTRATION for complicity in genociding Kurds of North Kurdistan. This is typical of the American left, or Democrats, or whatever the hell they all pretend to be. But make no mistake, there is no difference whatsoever among the Americans when it comes to Kurds. Using Kurds as pawns is what they ALL do, with the miniscule exception of the few individuals who have consistently spoken up for the cause of Kurdish justice.

The owner of DozaMe has already made an on-target assessment of people like Cole, in comments here:

The most disgusting fact is that people like him will only bash Turkey if it's related to Bush, and forgive Turkey for all its crimes against the Kurds when the Democrats come to power. And when the Democrats do come to power, they will join the anti-Kurdish crowd [Iran, Turkey and the whole Arab world] who are chanting "collaborators, collaborators!" Kurds seem to be the new "Israelis" of the block, ready to be blamed for everything evil in this world.

Has anything changed in the last 30 years? No.

Is Cole yet another victim of the Deep State? No. He's not a victim of the Deep State. He's a facilitator of the Deep State.


As a post script, I would add, compare Professor Cole's take on the situation of Kurds under Turkish occupation with activist Professor Chomsky's, and a good start point is Professor Chomsky's speech to in 2002. Professor Chomsky never fails to mention the situation of Kurds under Turkish occupation if such a mention is pertinent to the subject he addresses. I have heard Professor Chomsky mention Kurds in a number of speeches and when I least expected it.

Professor Chomsky has gone to Turkey to stand in the courtroom with those charged under any of the many stupid anti-free expression laws that the regime is so fond of creating and implementing. Those so charged have been charged for translating Professor Chomsky's own works.

In other words, Professor Chomsky not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. Compare those credentials with Professor Cole's and let's see who has integrity and who doesn't.

Hevallo has his own take on Cole's version of fantasyland, and it's worth a read. He's also got the news on Turkey's shutting-down of Amnesty International today, which is, ironically, World Refugee Day.


"Having leveled my palace, don't erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home."
~ Emily Bronte.

Nineteen years ago, the world stood by uselessly while Saddam murdered Kurds with chemical weapons, most infamously at Helebçe. For eighty-four years, the world has stood by uselessly while the Ankara regime has genocided Kurds in North Kurdistan. Since at least 1979, the world stood by uselessly while the dirty mullah regime in Teheran lined up Kurds for imprisonment or execution.

But for some, hope springs eternal and I guess that's why the Minister of Health for the Kurdistan Regional Government has published a plea to the world for medical assistance. Stolen from IraqSlogger:

To: International Community

From: Dr. A.O. Yones, MBChB, IMD, MRCP (UK)
Minister of Health
Kurdistan Regional Government
Erbil, Iraq

Subj: Request for Help

As the Minister of Health for the Kurdistan Region it is my responsibility to ensure that my people have the best health care possible. With the current situations in the South of Iraq, and particularly in Baghdad, it is very hard for us to get the materials, equipment, and pharmaceuticals that we need. For this I am putting out a request to the International Populace for help in our situation.

Kurdistan is a bright spot in the present and future of Iraq. We have our own government and we are at peace with our neighbors. Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Chaldian, Turkmen, and Persians live inside of our borders and are all given equal treatment under our laws. Foreign investors are flooding to Kurdistan to invest in our developing infrastructure and help us build a vibrant society. Yet with all of these advancements our medical institutions need a lot of work.

Currently we have 48 hospitals and 672 PHCs in Kurdistan. Many of our hospitals lack the basic medicines and supplies needed to treat wounds or provide basic urgent care. Our children suffer from one of the world's highest rates of heart disease or childhood leukemia and we lack the facilities to treat them here in Kurdistan. Our doctors and nurses do what they can bua a lack of educational services for nursing staff, medical technicians, and specialty training for our doctors is of paramount concern.

I am asking for help from the international community to assist us with our needs. We already work with several NGO's to assist us but our needs are greater than we can currently supply.

Your help is very much appreciated.



Dr. A.O. Yones, MBChB, IMD, MRCP (UK)
Minister of Health
Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq

Read more at IraqSlogger.

Lest anyone think that Kurds are doing nothing for themselves--only because we know that the smarmy right-wing überfascist crowd will imply such a thing about majority-Muslim Kurdish untermenschen--let's remember that back in February I posted another plea, that time for medical textbooks for Kurdistan. The textbook project is one started by a young Kurd in Diaspora, another example of a Kurd working for Kurds.

The situation must be dire for the KRG health minister to beg for such assistance, and I remember two years ago friends had to take a family member from South Kurdistan to Baghdad for medical treatment. Although the trip was dangerous and the family had to disguise themselves as Arabs for the duration of the trip, travel then through Arab Iraq was not as bad as it is now.

As deep as I am in my own black cynicism, I doubt very much that the compassion of the international community will extend to Dr. Yones and the Kurdish people, but you never know. It's possible to beat the house odds if you're playing the right game. However, a more certain means of acquiring the necessary medical supplies would be to shake down some of the Kurdish billionaires about whom certain quarters are so fond of bragging.

And while we're at it, all of those foreign "investors" who are enjoying enormous tax breaks from now until the next ice age should be forced to cough up, too. They should be taught the joys of charity.

Whoever doesn't want to fork it over, make their lives miserable so that they do pay . . . one way or another.

Monday, June 18, 2007


"Whether in domestic policy, national security, or international events, the institute guards its intellectual integrity. Neither dollars nor ideology will sway our opinions. At Hudson Institute, we always strive for the betterment of our world."
~ The Hudson Institute.

At the beginning of the month, I asked the following question:

Just who, exactly, are the dirty CEHŞ who permit the presence of these MIT/JITEM vermin in Silêmanî for the last decade (and more)? No one should have too think too long or hard about that question to come up with an answer.

Maybe we have an answer from the Hudson Institute.

Hevallo has a post up about the Hudson Institute and the games that have gone on there recently. The neocon-sponsored Dirty War games at Hudson made a pretty big splash in Turkish-language media over the weekend, but the initial Turkish-language report in Zaman did not match in detail Zaman's English-language version. However, a subsequent article does discuss the details.

The first English Zaman article can be read here, the first Turkish Zaman article, here, and the second, more detailed, English Zaman article, here.

The basic story is this: The neocons and the Turkish military got together in the US to discuss a number of "terror" scenarios. One of those proposed the assassination of retired Turkish Constitutional Court judge, Tülay Tuğcu. Everyone will remember Tuğcu as the judge who upheld the Paşas decision that upended Abdullah Gül's presidential vote in the parliament.

Now, ask yourself, whose cause would the assassination of Tülay Tuğcu serve? She's on the Paşas side, so her assassination would serve the Paşas. And here the Paşas are, discussing with the neocons an assassination that would serve their purposes.

If you get that, then you get why this little bit of wargaming at The Hudson Institute is such a big deal, particularly for Zaman, a Gülen (read: AKP) paper.

Also interesting are some of the proposed "scenarios." One describes a cuicide bombing at a police station in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. Funny, it's kind of reminiscent of the recent suicide bombing in Ankara, which appeared to target the military.

Another scenario describes PKK attacking an "Iranian truck convoy carrying ammunition to Damascus." Gee . . . that sounds an awful lot like PKK's derailing of the train that was carrying Iranian weapons and other military equipment to Syria. And that train was crossing through Turkey, a matter for which the train had to have the permission of the Paşas.

And then, the funniest scenario of all is the one in which "50,000 Turkish troops cross into Iraq, establishing several checkpoints along the Iraqi side of the border and engaging in minor skirmishes with PKK fighters."

Huh? 50,000 troops cross into Iraq and establish "several checkpoints?" Does that mean they have 10,000 troops at each checkpoint? And then they engage in "minor skirmishes?" When 50,000 troops invade another country, don't you think they'd be doing more than just establish a few checkpoints or have "minor" skirmishes.

This is hilarious!

In spite of the hilarity, the neocons and the Paşas were discussing scenarios very close to some that have already taken place, which makes me think that no one's going to be writing any life insurance for Tuğcu. More importantly, both the American neocons and the Paşas are trying to figure a way to invade South Kurdistan. If they do it with 50,000 troops, they're going to be aiming for something a little more substantial than a few hundred PKK gerîlas. It would make far more military sense to use 50,000 Mehmetçiks to secure Mûsil and Kerkuk than to believe the ridiculous nonsense about checkpoints and skirmishes.

But, all this brings me back to my question:

Just who, exactly, are the dirty CEHŞ who permit the presence of these MIT/JITEM vermin in Silêmanî for the last decade (and more)?

Well, now we know: Qubad Talabanî.

Check the second English version of Zaman for that.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society."
~ Edward Bernays.

It looks like Newsweek doesn't have the cojones to put a journalist's name to its propaganda pieces, the most recent of which claims that PKK is losing support among Kurds in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

On what does Newsweek base its claim? Let's take a look:

Last week the streets of Sirnak and Diyarbakir were again full of demonstrators, many of them Kurds. But this time they were protesting not against the government, but against the very group that claims to fight for their rights—the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The Şirnex protest was mentioned here on Rastî last week. As Reuters reported, the protests were dominated by "state-paid village guards, civil servants and schoolchildren." It's also a fact well-known to Kurds that the Turkish regime forces people to turn out for regime demonstrations because they are threatened to do so by the regime. Since those regime-forced demonstrations took place, participation-by-threat was confirmed to me by offline sources in The Region.

On the same day of the regime-forced protests, a Turkish journalist in Amed for a conference on coups, democracy, and politics in Turkey discussed the fact that the Turkish military is behind all of the recent protests throughout Turkey. Links to that information was also contained in last week's Rastî post.

Of course, the brilliant, nameless investigative journalist from Newsweek unwittingly admits that the regime was behind the protests in Şirnex and Amed, and within the very same paragraph:

Most surprising of all, the protests were encouraged by the most hawkish institution in the country—the Turkish Army, which on the eve of the rallies called on all citizens "to demonstrate their collective opposition against the terrorist attacks."

Yes, most surprising of all is the fact that regime-forced happened immediately after the Turkish general staff posted an order online to the civilian population demanding protests. The sanitized English version of the order appeared in Hürriyet--sanitized because the regime didn't want anyone to pick up on the genocidal implications of the Genelkurmay's seven points.

Then the nameless journalist at Newsweek claims that PKK suddenly called a ceasefire on June 12 because it has lost its base of support:

The turnabout seemed to have a rapid impact. Last week the PKK abruptly announced a ceasefire in the wake of nationwide protests by Turks and Kurds alike against its latest campaign of violence. Previous ceasefires have crumbled.

You would think that an international publication like Newsweek would have the wherewithal to actually confirm the facts it uses to back up its claims, but clearly Newsweek does not. A thirty-second search of Google would have revealed the realities of the ceasefire, that the ceasefire went into effect on October 1, 2006, and therefore it was not an "abrupt" announcement. Such a search would have also turned up the fact that it was the US and Turkey who rejected the ceasefire out of hand days before it went into effect. Futhermore, if the cheap-assed editors at Newsweek actually owned an Internet connection, a little more digging would have revealed that the Turkish regime has refused all other unilateral PKK ceasefires offered in the thirty-odd years since PKK's founding, particularly during the 6-year ceasefire between 1999-2005.

I would also ask, if there are only "remnants" of PKK left, as Newsweek asserts, then why has the entire Middle East gone spastic over PKK's existence? The truth is that while PKK has its strongest support among the 20 million Kurds under Turkish occupation, it has always attracted Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan. With that in mind, it should be remembered that PKK is the only Kurdish organization that regularly dispatches dirty Iranian pasdarans, in a blaze of glory, to their eternal reward of virgins in paradise.

And now that I have mentioned PJAK, let me point out that a non-Newsweek propagandist has an article out on it. Soner Cagaptay of the neoconservative think tank, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, tries to make the case that PJAK is part of PKK. I guess some people don't believe it is, but here's what this "expert" says:

PJAK insists that it is distinct from the PKK, but interviews with its leaders and members, along with a look at its history, suggest that the two groups have similar ideologies and methodologies.

Bullshit. Cagaptay knows very well that PJAK is part of PKK because Cagaptay knows very well what Cemil Bayık had to say about that last year:

"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."

So much for the "experts" at WINEP.

TIME is also running a little something on the PKK. Putting the superficiality of TIME's journalist aside, it does appear that HPG's headquarters command is putting the skids on the free access of journalists to Qendil. Well, American journalists, at least, and that may be because all the recent reporting about PKK has been nothing but propaganda in the service of the Ankara and Washington regimes. Since these "journalists" are nothing more than glorified propagandists, it's about time for them to be denied, along with all their phony arguments about getting the Kurdish cause into the MSM.

How many of them were interested enough in the cause to write about the Joseph Ralston/Lockheed Martin conflict of interest? If they are truly interested, let them learn Turkish and read Firat.

If anyone is interested in where the US is planning to establish its permanent Iraqi bases--14 in total--check out the Friends Committee on National Legislation to play with the interactive map.

Last, but certainly not least, Dr. Kristiina has her own post about the June 6 meeting in the House of Commons on the situation of Kurds in Turkey, which she attended. Take a look at Dr. Kristiina's blog, The Kurdish Question.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


"Democracy is only a dream: it should be put in the same category as Arcadia, Santa Claus,and Heaven."
~ H. L. Mencken.

On June 6 a meeting was held in the House of Commons, hosted by British MP ElfynLlwyd, the vice-chairman of Parliamentarians for National Self-Determination (PNSD), on the question of what chance now for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in North Kurdistan. Speakers included Maureen Freely, who has translated Orhan Pamuk's novels; human rights lawyer and KHRP legal advisor, Margaret Owen; Mark Muller, who has headed up KHRP's legal team; and Desmond Fernandes, who has done much research, writing, and activism for North Kurdistan's cause.

Among the issues discussed at the meeting were the following:

With the increasing criminalisation of members of the 'pro-Kurdish' party, the Democratic Society Party (DTP); a continuing failure to meet the EU's Copenhagen accession criteria that serve to ensure "stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities" (Europa, 2007); a refusal to respond to the 'peace process' and unilateral ceasefire of the PKK; threats to militarily intervene in northern Iraq and persist with a dam 'development policy' that threatens to forcibly displace tens of thousands of Kurds even as Turkey fails to meet her obligations under international customary law and her bilateral agreements with Iraq, there is an urgent need to address key concerns. International public opinion needs to be alerted to this dangerous situation that could engulf the whole region into turmoil with potential ramifications across Europe.

Aysel Tuğluk, co-chair of DTP was invited, but unable to attend. Instead, she sent a message to the meeting, which is published here in its entirety, thanks to the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign:

Message from Aysel Tugluk, Co-Chair of the DTP (Democratic Society Party)

On 6 June 2007

Dear Elfyn Llwyd and PNSD and dear Colleagues:

First of all, my sincere apologies for not being able to join your meeting tonight because of the pressures arising from the forthcoming elections in Turkey.

The sequence of reforms which Turkey introduced after 2000 and which led the EU to open negotiations with Turkey in 2004 brought some progress for the Kurdish and Turkish people: increased democratization and new hope to resolve the Kurdish question peacefully. But in the last two years the reform process inside Turkey has not only slowed down but moved into reverse gear and is threatening relations between the EU and Turkey.

We are deeply concerned about the intolerable restriction on our party and the press in Turkey which have worsened considerably under the impact of the new anti-terrorism law; in particular an effective ban on the reporting of taboo subjects such as our party and its work, and the Kurdish and Armenian question and other minority issues. Our members are persecuted, arrested, newspapers are closed, editors arrested and a blacklist of dissenting voices is preventing respected journalists from working in Turkey today. An atmosphere of coercion and intimidation is prevailing in the country, especially in recent weeks with the repeated announcements of a major military offensive against Iraqi Kurdistan with the excuse to defeat the PKK.

In Turkey the army is continuing to play a major role in every part of daily life. In political and economic issues, as well as in international relations, the Army has always enjoyed a powerful influence on events. In the approach of Turkey towards the EU, the Army saw the loss of this power. Consequently a brutal attitude was adopted by the Army towards some of the sensitive points in the EU negotiations. Moreover, this attitude was also adopted by the so- called social democratic party CHP. This was seen in the questions of northern Cyprus and in the Kurdish problem, where a wave of national xenophobia developed. The AKP government acted hypocritically, claiming: “We want to change Turkey according to the European criteria, but we are not allowed to do that”. This government, in terms of both the Kurdish and Cyprus questions, acted according to the demands of the Army and the CHP.

The AKP government is fearful that face to face confrontation with the Army will jeopardize its own secret goals. To resolve the latest crisis taking place over the presidential elections, the government decided to opt for early parliamentary elections. Although there is a conflict of interest between the AKP and the Army on some issues, they share the same approach to the Kurdish question, as the latest change of the electoral law shows.

Immediately after the decision by the DTP to contest the election with independent candidates, a new law was adopted which makes the success of independent candidates more difficult. In any case, they did not even consider the demand for a change of the 10% threshold which makes it quite impossible for Kurdish candidates to enter the parliament.

But in considering Turkey’s regression from EU membership in recent negotiations, the contradictory approach of some European countries towards Turkey has also to be recognised. Although Turkey was accepted by the EU in 1999 in Helsinki as a candidate member, different views are being expressed on this issue in some member states.

Despite the promising start to membership negotiations, some governments, notably in Germany and France, have begun to talk about a privileged partnership instead.

This approach is encouraging opponents of EU membership to in Turkey.

Together with the wave of nationalism evident in Turkey, this has encouraged more people to express anti-EU views.

Moreover, the Kurdish people who, despite all their efforts to achieve their goals in a peaceful manner, are confronted with the continuing struggle for their basic rights and equality with the Turkish government. We face a Turkish government which is distancing itself more and more from the EU, insisting on its policy towards Cyprus, and also developing an increasingly hostile and provocative position towards Iraqi Kurdistan.

In conclusion, the EU has to take a clear position on these issues. It is also important that the EU monitors closely events in Turkey, which is passing through a really critical period, and does everything it can to play a constructive role and keep the reform process on track.

We have to recognize that, given the state of affairs in Turkey today, it is not possible to consider early EU membership to be realistic. But to close all doors on Turkey´s eventual membership as well would be very dangerous and might lead to even more sinister developments in Turkey.

Kurds in Turkey have always been for peace, democracy and stability, and we will continue to do so. To ensure their recognition as a people, they have always tried to use democratic ways to achieve this aim.

Therefore, and in spite of all the legal, political and de facto obstacles, we have decided to contest the elections with independent candidates. We want to continue to struggle through peaceful means to resolve all obstacles and difficulties. We believe that the Parliament will be the best ground for our struggle.

We call on you and our friends in the UK to show solidarity with Kurdish and Turkish progressives and democrats, to follow closely developments in the run-up to the elections, to support our candidates and send a delegation to observe the elections.

We wish you a successful meeting tonight.

More information will be forthcoming, including transcripts of speeches and when that information is available, I hope to post more.

In other DTP news, Abdullah Demirbaş has been fired and the Sur Municipality Council dissolved by the Ankara regime because they had voted to provide local governmental services in languages that the local people could understand . . . in addition to Turkish language. Naturally, such goings-on are thinly veiled attempts to destroy the "territorial integrity" of the TC, and rip it to shreds. As everyone knows, such is the goal of every single non-Turk on the planet.

In addition, the Ankara regime's colonial prosecutor in Amed has demanded that Mayors Abdullah Demirbaş and Osman Baydemir be sentenced to three-and-a-half year prison terms for their attempts to destroy the Turkish state through their cunning multi-lingual, "separatist" plot.

Aha! So that's how democracy works. Now I get it.

More at Turkish NTV and TDN.

Samarkeolog has a short post on a shoot-out in Sêrt (Siirt) under OHAL. I wouldn't be surprised if the courageous Mehmetçiks are, once again, slaughtering Kurdish civilians. The TSK has always shown itself an apt pupil when it comes to all the American IMET program.

IMET is used by the US to train foreign militaries to "pacify" problem populations through the application of severe human rights abuses in exchange for foreign governments' cooperation with American strategic global interests, but the program is promoted by the US government as a means to spread American "values" throughout the world. The Federation of American Scientists has more on the IMET program, including their concerns.

Under the new OHAL--although no one will say anything about it--there may also be US special operations types on the ground via another means the US uses to spread American values in North Kurdistan--the JCET program. Ostensibly, JCET was supposed to be a means for American Özel Timler to go to foreign countries and learn languages, become culturally "sensitive," and make friends with those who they have taught to commit atrocities. They aren't supposed to train anyone under JCET, but with a wink and a nod to the US Congress, they are off to their exotic destinations for a little "education."

The Federation of American Scientists has something on the JCET program, too.

Another black op bombing took place in Amed on Friday, and the hevals at KurdishInfo have kindly put something together on that, with a little review of the last black op bombing in Amed. This Turkish black operation comes on the heels of a propaganda frenzy earlier in the week which tried to lead us all to believe that PKK had suddenly called a ceasefire.

As with all things having to do with the fascist regime in Ankara, with the backing of their international collaborators, in time they show their hand, and it is clear why the regime set off a bomb in Amed at this time. Very simply, it wants to create the illusion that PKK is not holding to this sudden ceasefire and, in this way, it will open the door to the extension of OHAL to Amed, the capital of Kurdistan.

When that happens, the regime will be able to rid itself of most of those pesky DTP mayors at one stroke.

That's democracy in action, folks.