Thursday, December 29, 2011


"The massacres are the result of a policy which, as far as can be ascertained, has been entertained for some considerable time by the gang of unscrupulous adventurers who are now in possession of the Government of the Turkish Empire. They hesitated to put it in practice until they thought the favorable moment had come, and that moment seems to have arrived. . ."
~ British Viscount James Bryce, October 6, 1915, on the Armenian Genocide.

So the devastating news is that the Islamist regime in Ankara has bombed Kurdish civilians in Iraq. . . NOT.

The Islamist regime in Ankara has bombed Kurdish civilians in Turkey:

More from Al-Jazeera:

But those of us who know, know that bombing by F-16 in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan happens all the time, especially in Şirnak. There's no mistaking it when it happens because the bombing makes such a distinctive noise, even at a distance.

I'm sure, however, that Katil Erdoğan will get to the bottom of it with "no cover-up of potential mistakes," as the talking head at Al-Jazeera claims. Mark my words: There will be no cover-up of this just as there was no cover-up of the Şemdinli bombing. Everyone should remember that Katil Erdoğan promised no cover-up of that incident and yet, what happened with that?

There have been a lot of misleading headlines in foreign media about this massacre to the effect that the bombing took place inside Iraq, but such headlines are nothing more than bold-faced lies. As Hasip Kaplan explains, the bombing took place well within the Turkish border, in the village area of Ortasu, Uludere District, Şırnak Province. From Hasip Kaplan:

More than 20 people were also wounded and the count is increasing, said Hasip Kaplan, a parliamentarian with the pro- Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP. The jets bombed Ortasu village in the Uludere district, killing smugglers who were operating along the border with Iraq, he said in a phone interview from Sirnak. Turkey's military said it's investigating the airstrikes.

Nazmi Gür describes the victims--and they're not the big, bad PKK:

Pro-Kurdish legislator Nazmi Gur said most of those killed were teenagers who were carrying diesel fuel from Iraq into Turkey on donkeys or horses — often the only livelihood in local villages. He claimed that officials would have known that Turkish smugglers would be operating in the area.

Of course officials knew that this was a smuggling route. How could they not? Especially when soldiers from the local garrison were the very ones who rerouted the teens:

According to local accounts, a group of people from the villages of Ortasu and Gulyazi were crossing the border from northern Iraq when they were blocked by soldiers on the path and then bombed at around 9.30pm on Wednesday.

More on how the group was rerouted:

Hurriyet quoted BDP joint chairman Selahattin Demirtas as saying the killings were "clearly a massacre". A group of 50 smugglers had crossed the border into Turkey and were stopped and redirected by soldiers from a nearby outpost right before they reached their village, Demirtas said.

"The air strike happened on that route they were directed to. Those killed were young people who made a living off of smuggling. There were people studying for university exams among them and the soldiers at the outpost knew it."

Absolutely, they knew it! But why were the teens rerouted? Very simply, to create plausible deniability. Everyone in the area knows the smuggling routes and the smugglers--the teens, in this case--are not normally targeted. Let me say it again to be clear: Everyone in the area, particularly the TSK, knows the smuggling routes. If TSK had bombed these well-known routes, it would clearly be a massacre. To cover up any potential charge of massacre, the soldiers at the garrison are ordered to reroute the smugglers, which they do. This forces the smugglers to take a route not known to be a smuggling route. It allows TSK to claim that drones located a group of "unknown" people walking through the area and who else would walk around in this area in a large group but PKK? After all, the group is not on the smuggling route.

Finally, TSK lies to the media by saying that it had "intelligence" that PKK was due to make an attack in the area, and Voilà! Plausible deniability!

Isn't it odd that TSK never has the same kind of "intelligence" when the big, bad PKK really does come and really does whack about 100 TSK'ers?

Check this out:

A security official said: "There were rumours that the PKK would cross through this region. Images were recorded of a crowd crossing last night, hence an operation was carried out. We could not have known whether these people were (PKK) group members or smugglers."

"Rumours?" That doesn't sound quite as professional as "intelligence", does it? Then let me ask this: What's the difference between "rumors" and "lies"? In addition, if you "could not have known" who the people were then you shouldn't be bombing people, Mr. Security Official. Besides, as we have seen with the soldiers redirecting the teens, the TSK did, in fact, know that these were not PKK guerrillas.

But wait, there's more:

The Turkish military said the strike had been against PKK forces in northern Iraq."It was established from unmanned aerial vehicle images that a group was within Iraq heading towards our border," it said. "Given that the area in which the group was spotted is often used by terrorists and that it was moving towards our border at night, it was deemed necessary for our air force planes to attack.

Another bunch of lies. The group was not in Iraq. It was in Turkey. And it had been redirected by soldiers on the ground. And it was in an area known for smugglers. And if you're not sure who you're bombing, should you be bombing?

Then we have the big business angle on the massacre. It would appear that gasoline retailers in Turkey take a dim view of the smuggling of diesel:

Companies including Petrol Ofisi AS, Turkey's biggest fuel retailer and a unit of OMV AG, have complained that smuggling from northern Iraq, where the PKK keeps a command center in the Kandil Mountains, provides unfair competition.

First of all, the fact that PKK has its command HQ at Kandil has absolutely nothing to do with "unfair" competition. Secondly, Petrol Ofisi AS executives should maybe get off their fat asses and do something about the abysmal unemployment rate in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan so that young people wouldn't have to smuggle for a living.

But that's capitalism for you.

Protests have already started but I wouldn't expect too much to happen regarding this. In fact, look, here comes Katil Erdoğan now, with a scarf on his head, a broom in one hand and a dustpan in the other. Maybe he really won't cover it up. Instead, he'll just sweep up the charred remains of these, the Kurdish future, and throw them in the trash.