Friday :: Aug 18, 2006

Kurdistan - The Latest Bush Betrayal

by pessimist

There is a line from Animal House which applies to the Kurds:

"You fucked up! You trusted us!"

The Kurds are finding out the hard way why one should not trust American presidents named Bush.

Saddam Hussein is being tried for genocide for his gassing of Kurds while George I was Reagan's vice-, and acting-, president. This heinous attack against the Kurds was one of the excuses George I offered for instigating the Gulf War.

After the Gulf War was won, George I inspired the Shia of southern Iraq with numerous comments to rise up against Saddam, only to abandon them when they did.

This should be a lesson for the Kurds, yet another in their long history of futile trusting of foreign powers in their quest to establish a homeland. They have been played for pawns for years while hoping that maybe this time they had a real chance.

The latest Bush Betrayal was to be included in the discussion aimed at establishing a federalized national governemnt for Iraq, one that would allow the Kurds to pretend that their autonomous region was a nation-state in function if not in fact.

These Kurds should have sent someone to business management school! If they had, the concept of cost-benefit analysis could have been understood. They would then understand why Bu$hCo has once again turned America away from Greater Kurdistan - the Kurdish cause has become too expensive:

U.S. Calls on PKK to Lay down Arms
By Cihan News Agency, Washington
August 16, 2006

[T]he U.S. administration called upon the PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) “to cease its terrorist actions and lay down its arms.”

“This violence undermines prospects for a more democratic and secure future for the people of Turkey and the region, and also significantly sets back the aspirations of Turkey’s ethnic Kurdish population that the PKK purports to represent,” U.S. Department of State spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Even the date of the announcement was significant:

Making a statement on the 22nd anniversary of the start of the PKK’s campaign of terrorist activities, McCormack reminded that PKK violence had accounted for the deaths of more than 30,000 Turkish security forces and civilians since August 15, 1984, and pointed out that the violence had stopped for several years following the capture of the terrorist leader, Abdullah Ocalan, in 1999.

You may not yet be hearing about it through the Wall Street Media conglomerates, but

Kurdistan is under attack - by Turkey and Iran.

Now that I have your attention, I want to present some background on the situation, one which is going to provide blowback from a proud and remembering nationalist ethnic group. Even though some of the incidents involving the US were likely undertaken in good faith, would anyone whose homeland is under attack take the time to separate the support wheat from the betrayal chaff?

I expect we Americans will be blamed by the Kurds for not doing more:

The US, PKK and Murat Karayilan
Sedat Bozkurt
17 August 2006

Terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan was captured in 1999 in a manner befitting a Hollywood movie before being delivered to Turkey. There were then discussions within the PKK for a long while after Ocalan was brought to Turkey. It benefited from its so-called cease-fire in order to reshape its organization. [W]ith U.S. intervention, a group headed by Osman Ocalan left the PKK and tried to form an unarmed political structure called the Democratic Patriotic Party of Kurdistan (PWD). The project to enable PKK militants to leave their mountain camps, which is being discussed in newspaper stories, has always been on Turkey's plate although it has been strongly denied.
However, this project didn't succeed.
The U.S. didn't maintain its support for the project to the end.
The U.S. has been planning long-term cooperation with the Kurds in the Middle East. That's why it organized the Syrian National Kurdish Assembly in Washington and activated it in Brussels. This assembly aims to rescue Kurds living in Syria from the effects of the PKK. Meanwhile, it organized the Iranian Kurdish organization PJAK within the PKK. The most interesting part of the picture here is that the PKK was supported by Iran and Syria, which have their own Kurdish problems, until the beginning of 2000.

The U.S. eliminated Ocalan since he was anti-U.S. and he was the biggest obstacle [involved in] efforts to found a Kurdish state in northern Iraq.

In the new move that started with Turkey deploying troops to its border, Iraqi and northern Iraqi administrations as well as the U.S. seem to be taking steps. However, the U.S. earlier bombarded Mt. Kandil, where the PKK has a camp, following demands from Turkey, but carried out the action after warning the organization, saying, "We will bomb Mt. Kandil, empty it."

Nice prod, but I think that more evidence indicates that the US is sitting this one out. That isn't going to stop the Turks, who see an opportunity.

But image might be a problem for the Turks. [Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah ]Gul said that as long as conditions are appropriate, Turkey has always served world peace. Some would disagree.

Hitler once retorted "Who remembers the Armenians?" when questioned whether his Final Solution would rouse increased opposition to the Third Reich.

The correct answer to Der Fuhrer's question? The Armenians remember:

U.S. Not Take Notice Of Armenian Lobby's Letter On Lebanon
August 18, 2006

U.S. Department of State has not taken notice of the letter of Armenian lobby --addressed to U.S. President George W. Bush-- requesting that Turkey should not participate in UN Peace Force in Lebanon.

Replying to a question on the letter sent by Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian to U.S. President Bush, State Department's Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said he did not read the letter.

ANCA's letter claimed that Ottoman Empire ruled the Middle East violently for centuries, asserting that Turkey's participation in peace force in Lebanon did not comply with national interests of the United States.

With all respect to the Armenians, who suffered as many as 1.5 million deaths at the hands of Turkish troops in the period encompassing World War I, I wouldn't have made that claim. If one looks at the actions of the United States government, their national interests may very well be served by including Turkey in the UN Peace Force in Lebanon - and reducing Kurdish power in Northern Iraq:

Bush Bringing Turkey To Crossroads
by Chris White
Aug 15, 2006

Among the most immediate of the consequences of what Bush allowed proxy Israel to do in his behalf in Lebanon is the process underway in Turkey.

Kurdistan has something for everyone, including Israel... one plan envisions building a pipeline from Kirkuk through Syria to Israel's Mediterranean coast.

The reason for all the pressure on Syria to comply with US demands.

But I digress.

Turkish and Iranian military are reported to have been shelling positions of Kurdish guerrillas. The shooting is said to have taken place around Hakur which is where the borders of Turkey, Iran and Iraq come together. Both countries are said to be sealing off their borders.

Last week the head of the Iraqi autonomous Kurdish area Barzani said that the Turks had launched attacks into Iraqi territory. Turkey has deployed around 250,000 troops into position on its south eastern border, and is said to have conducted at least 53 incursions into Iraqi territory since March. By contrast, when Turkey deployed to pressure Syria into handing over the Kurdish terrorist Ocalan in 1998, 30,000 troops were sent to the border area.

The current deployment may be in strength sufficient enough
to occupy the whole of Iraqi Kurdistan.
It is not known here how many troops the Iranians have deployed.

Both Turkey and Iran are said to have been building up military deployments on their respective borders with the Iraqi Kurdish area. At this time the military deployments can be seen as both preparatory to what can be expected from Bush, and as efforts to pressure the Kurds.

Kurdmedia considers that Turkey and Iran are both on the same wavelength on the Kurdish question. Both Turkey and Iran have to face up to how to deal with the emergence of an institutional rallying point for the substantial Kurdish minorities in both their countries...

Yesterday Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani was reported to have called for the formation of a Kurdish army within the autonomous territory. If it means transforming parts of the Iraqi national army into a Kurdish force, this will spell major trouble for the Bush policy of "as they stand up, we stand down". The Iraqi national army is majority Kurdish, organized out of the Pesh Merga militia. If it means calling up additional Pesh Merga units into a local army, it will be something else.

What 'something else' means:

Compared to the Shi'a, the Kurdish militia, or peshmerga, is much better organized and more well-armed thanks to many years of U.S. support. More than 90 percent of the Iraqi National Army troops stationed in northern Iraq, or Iraqi Kurdistan, hail from the Kurdish peshmerga. Rather than showing allegiance to a central military authority, these troops are loyal to peshmerga leaders. The Kurds have also maintained their peshmerga militia in northern Iraq. Combining these troops gives the Kurds a formidable army with which to defend its territory. Inevitably, Iraqi Kurds, who just anointed their own prime minister and parliament creating the Kurdistan Regional Government, will likely declare their independence from Iraq.

That isn't such an idle observation:

The Iraqi Kurdish autonomous area is beginning to shake itself free of the rest of the country. On August 8th the legislative body of the Iraqi Kurds published a draft law arrogating to itself the right to control petroleum operations in its own territory, and in the province of Kirkuk, where 1/3rd of Iraq's oil is produced. Kirkuk is not part of Iraq's Kurdish territory, but is claimed for the Kurdish territory by both major Kurdish political parties. In late January of this year the governor of Kirkuk Abd-el-Rahman Mustafa threatened to suspend oil shipments to the rest of the country.
The Kurds seem to be acting on the basis
that possession is 9/10th of the law,
using Bush's tactics of pre-emption.
It is a life and death issue for Iraq's Sunnis. If the Kurds take Kirkuk, the country's oil resources will be divided between the Kurds in the north, and the Shi'ites of Basra in the south, with nothing, or very little, for anyone else.

Such moves have to be seen as threatening entrenched elites in the region, and US 'leadership' isn't seen as being helpful:

These are indications that some who have been prepared to travel with Bush down the road he has chosen may be deciding that there will be just too much more sorrow involved for them to continue on their way with him. It is a cross-roads, or turn off, which many others will be choosing too, and not just in the Mid East.

Turkey is concerned about PKK attacks in eastern Anatolia. [G]iven Turkey's concerns with its own Kurdish minority, and therefore the way Turkish internal politics and foreign policy desires, such as EEC membership, have become tied to the way Iraq's civil war and possible partition are proceeding, if Turkey follows its previous impulses and crushes the Kurds, EEC membership may well be over, and so probably will be the Erdogan government.

The Iranians [are concenred] by the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan's call for Kurds in Western Iran to begin a civil disobedience campaign against Teheran.

In either case Kurdistan seems to have a key part to play. Either Kurdistan will be a lever against all the countries in the neighborhood which contain Kurdish minorities, or it may perhaps become a transmission belt for a different policy into Iraq.

'A different policy' about many things seems to be what is developing. It is this Kurdish 'threat' to the Southwest Asian Muslim oil reserves that is prompting action - by everyone except the US:

There was a really interesting confluence of meetings in Turkey roughly coincident with the final push on the shameless UN resolution on Lebanon. King Abdullah from Saudi Arabia showed up ... for meetings with Turkey's President, Prime Minister, business and military leaders. Under discussion were investment and security agreements, and Turkish participation in Gulf so-called `mega-projects'.

Almost as soon as the Desert Kingdom's ruler's delegation was ushered off the airport tarmac and on its way into Ankara, the Foreign minister of Iran flew in.

These developments are discussed by author Cengiz Candar:

I have the content of his talks with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul. Given the sensitivity of the issue, I cannot disclose anything other than the real purpose of the visit: To signal to the Arabs and the Americans that Iran is engaging with Turkey and does not intend to leave its Western neighbor in the Western-Sunni Arab axis of the newly emerging Middle Eastern equation.

So that establishes that Turkey and Iran are acting jointly, probably concerning Kurdistan, with the awareness of the other major oil players in the region. In addition to Saudi Arabia and Iran, Turkey has been establishing relations with the puppet so-called 'government' of Iraq - and the US will have no say in this:

Then, surprise, surprise, the vice-Premier of Iraq, Al-Hashemi arrived, and reports surfaced that on the 12th of August, while all these dignitaries were present, Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan had a telephone discussion with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki.

The specifics have to do with the PKK and Kurdish ambitions in general. At this point, one has to include Bu$hCo as a tacit partner in this (accepting a fait accompli?), and their public statement, quoted above, was intended to show the Kurds that they are now friendless against this cabal of Turkey and three of the largest national oil reserves in the world.

What is Bu$hCo getting out of this arrangement to stifle Kurdish nationalist ambitions?


These arrangements are intended to forge a strong alliance among the regional oil reserves, with relatively modern Turkey acting as the arbitrator. What gives Turkey such leverage?

Lt. Col. L. Fletcher Prouty reveals what may well be the answer to this question in his memoirs:

I flew the Turkish ambassador, who had been at the Bretton Woods Conference here in New Hampshire during the war, back to Turkey. A very interesting man. He talked to me about what had been going on at Bretton Woods as we flew north. I had him sit up in the co-pilot's seat. I don't think he'd ever done much flying. We were flying in an area where there were little puffy white clouds up in the sky, and I didn't try to avoid them, I'd just fly through them. Well, I noticed the first time I approached a cloud -- at C-57 speed, about 160 miles an hour -- he tried to hide under the seat! Because he thought there was going to be a crash! Then after that, he wanted me to go hunt clouds; he wanted to fly through a lot of them. You find interesting little events happen during these details.

As we approached Turkey, he made a statement that was rather interesting. He said, "Fly over by those mountains" (some beautiful mountains at the south of Turkey, near Adana). We went over there and he said, "See that lake?" And I looked down and he said, "That's not a lake; that's oil."

He said, "Turkey has an enormous amount of oil.
But we have made it national policy that we will not export oil.
Oil is Turkey's; it's for us, and we will consume our own oil."

That was in 1944. I have not heard of any commercial development of Turkish oil since then. I think what he said was a true fact and that it still is their policy. But we looked down and saw plenty -- of course, there was Turkish oil before WWII; they were in the world oil market then.

I'm guessing that the modern economic and geopolitical realities may have changed Turkish minds, and a hand like that would bring in the high-stakes players like the Saudis and the Iranians, and just might tempt puppets like the Iraqis to cut the strings and join a new team:

"On the likelihood of US opposition to close cooperation with Iran in the vital oil industry, [Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Al-Sharistani] said Baghdad decides on the basis of maximizing its own interests".

Sharistani traveled to Teheran to meet with his Iranian counterpart and conclude a deal under which Basra light would be shipped to Iranian refineries and kerosene would be shipped back into Iraq to try to break the fuel blockade of Baghdad.

Iraqi and Iranian oil ministers had concluded an agreement under which Iraq will ship Basra light to refineries in Iran, and Iran will ship refined products back into Iraq.

The two ministers were expected to explore joint development of shared fields.

But the betrayal of Bu$hCo by Southwestern Asian oil nations doesn't end there:

Turkish and Iranian oil ministers met, to discuss opening up Iranian oil fields to Turkish companies, and Turkish purchases of Iranian reserves. Turkey, in exchange, is to help Iran market natural gas in Europe.
Both of these agreements
are major snubs to the US policy of embargoing Iran,
especially on energy deals.
They indicate that what Bush did with the Israeli proxy may well have crossed the line for countries in the area which had hitherto been US major supporters, like NATO member Turkey.

Face it, George, You fucked up! You trusted them! Did you think that Valley of the Wolves didn't mean anything?

What people like have been trying to tell you, and which you refused to hear, was that the world has grown up and recovered from the ashes of 1945. World War II ended a whole lot sooner than neo-confidence plans have recognized. The only reason the world played along with our delusions is that life was stable and reasonably secure, predictable even.

But you threw that away when you set out to impose the 'New World Order'. Your debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq prove that no one need fear the protection racket you offer. Sure, you may walk in with multinational corporatists in tow, offering trade deals which would enrich the few at the expense of the many, but who is to say that the few to which you expect to con with this con will fall for it? Why, if you are such a paper tiger, should they include you in their plans?

You can wave your atomic six-gun about all you want - they know that Russian weapons still pose a threat to the US, and Chinese wealth will see to it that other deterrents keep our Tridents in their silos. Nuclear Armageddon won't be launched from your 'football' if they have a way to stop it.

So you are powerless to stop trusted 'allies' from making deals which come at the expense of your nation, and they know it.

So go ahead and sell out the Kurds. Go ahead and let Iran redeem itself in the eyes of its neighbors, and maybe even gain their support for the Islamic Bomb of Iran. Go ahead and promote wasteful energy practices while you squelch development of alternative energy generation technologies. Just leave us to their tender mercies.

While you're at it, just leave. Crawford has lots of weeds that need a whacko like you to keep them under control. You can pretend that you are still in charge of all the wars you helped to start while you keep the weeds in their places.

Meanwhile, back in the world of reality, a new generation of America-hating terrorists may be created:

Washington has pledged a larger effort against the PKK's presence inside Iraq and proposed cooperating against the terrorist group within a tripartite mechanism established earlier by the United States, Turkey and Iraq.

Citing a statement released on the official Web site of President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the private Doğan News Agency (DHA) said that Turkish and Iranian artillery units have been firing on the mountainous area since Saturday. The statement said the Turkish and Iranian units have been firing simultaneously, alleging that both Turkish and Iranian troops might cross the Iraqi border -- an apparent reference to a cross-border operation on the PKK camps.

Are we going to see a repeat of Lebanon around Qandil Mountain?

Kurds flee homes as Iran shells Iraq's northern frontier
by Michael Howard, The Guardian
August 18, 2006

Frustrated by the reluctance of the US and the government in Baghdad to crack down on the PKK bases inside Iraq, Turkish generals have hinted they are considering a large-scale military operation across the border. They are said to be sharing intelligence about Kurdish rebel movements with their Iranian counterparts. "We would not hesitate to take every kind of measures when our security is at stake," Abdullah Gul, the Turkish foreign minister, said last week.

Ilnur Chevik, editor of the New Anatolian newspaper in Ankara, said: "There is huge public pressure on the Turkish government to take action." But he doubted whether Turkish forces would mount a full-scale invasion."The build-up of troops is designed to say to the Americans and the Iraqis, the ball is in your court." Tehran was also taking advantage of the situation, he said, "to show Turkey that it was taking action against its shared enemy, while the US, Turkey's ally, has done nothing".

Some analysts say Ankara and Tehran may be trying to pressure Iraq's Kurds, afraid that their de facto independent region would encourage their own Kurdish population. There has been sporadic shelling of the region since May but officials worry that concerted military action against PKK bases in Iraq could alienate Iraqi Kurds and destabilise their self-rule region, one of few post-invasion success stories.

Scores of Kurds have fled their homes in the northern frontier region after four days of shelling by the Iranian army. Local officials said Turkey had also fired a number of shells into Iraqi territory. Khaled Salih, the spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government in Irbil, said: "We condemn the shelling and urge the Iraqi government to demand the neighbours to respect our sovereignty."

There is some evidence to indicate that Turkey's justification for the attack is weak:

Rostam Judi, a PKK leader, claimed yesterday that no operations against Turkey or Iran were being launched from Iraqi territory. "We have fighters across south-eastern Turkey. Our presence in Iraq is purely for political work." Last week, the Iraqi government said it had closed offices run by PKK sympathisers in Baghdad, and another office was shut by Kurdish authorities in Irbil.

But those moves are political. In war, it is always the little people who pay the price for the elites to play political games:

Some displaced families have pitched tents in the valleys behind Qandil Mountain, which straddles Iraq's rugged borders with Turkey and Iran. They told the Guardian yesterday that at least six villages had been abandoned and one person had died following a sustained artillery barrage by Iranian forces that appeared designed to flush out guerrillas linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who have hideouts in Iraq.

[T]hose displaced wonder when they can resume a normal life. "We know that the PKK are around here," said Abdul-Latif Mohammed, who fled the village of Lowan with his family. "But they live in the mountains.

"So these bombs just hurt us poor farmers."

That's what you get when you place your trust in a rotten Bush.

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