“Resistance does not start with big words

but with small deeds […]
asking yourself a question
and then asking that question to others
that is how resistance starts.”
~ Remco Campert.

Like I was saying, I see a lot of ridiculous stuff and today was no different. In an article about Iran’s and Syria’s potential moves against Israel in Lebanon, take a look at what one idiot in NYC has to say about Kurds:

In Damascus, the Assad regime has prepared itself for an epochal war that will transform the Syrian culture into a martial cult such as was achieved under the current president’s father, the late Hafez al-Assad. [ . . . ] The Assads recall 1967 and 1973 not as strategic defeats but as spiritually liberating events that empowered the Assad regime in the ummah. Syria is resolved, well armed, fatalistic, and inspired by the wealth of Iran, the allegiance of the Iraqi Baathists, the strategic support of Kurdistan, Turkey, Lebanon.

What?? Syria has the strategic support of Kurdistan? Yeah, when pigs fly! But there’s more:

The Kurds have made a deal with Tehran that looks to the future and the establishment of an independent, oil-rich Kurdistan.

The Kurds aim to drive out or massacre the minority Turkmen in their territory, and they know this will be a casus belli for Turkey. The Kurds will need Iran for an ally and also for a transportation route to get their oil to market.

The Russians must certainly know that Iran is using Turkey and Kurdistan in their war effort, and the Russians have presumably made a decision not to interfere in any fashion with their Caspian Sea neighbor and commercial partner Iran.

So who, exactly, is this jackass anyway? John Batchelor. Never heard of him? Neither had I, so I had to do some checking. Apparently he’s got a radio talk show that airs in NYC in the wee hours. I guess his big claim to fame, and the thing that really makes him such an expert on all things Middle Eastern, especially Kurds, is the fact that he’s a writer:

John is a veteran novelist, author of seven political romances as well as a short history of the Republican Party.

A veteran novelist of political romances? I didn’t even know there was such a genre, but it looks like this is what passes for Middle East experts in America these days. No wonder everything is so screwed up. Fiction is his specialty, and that’s exactly what his speculation on the Iran situation is: Fiction.

How else could some one come up with the fantasy that Kurdistan gives strategic support to the dirty Syrian Ba’athi? And what does he mean by “Kurdistan?” Like most Americans, I’m sure he figures Kurdistan is just that little piece of Kurdistan located in Northern Iraq. This veteran novelist has no clue that Kurdistan is divided by four tyrants and that this division is supported by the entire international community, especially the United States.

Kurds making a deal with Iran? Okay, maybe Mam Celal is up to his old tricks again, but ask an ordinary Kurd–the only kind that really matters as far as I’m concerned–and you’ll find that Kurds hate Iran, and I suspect that in his heart of hearts, old Mam Celal hates Iran just as much as the next gundî. Why would Kurds need Iran to ship oil anyway? If we’re talking all-out war here, get rid of Syria and Kurds can build a pipeline all the way across Kurdish land to get it to a seaport. If we’re talking Kurds making peace with some of the neighbors, then we might be talking Kerkuk-Haifa pipeline once again. This guy also fails to consider that all the enemies of Kurdistan would never allow Kurds to profit from their own resources. Why else do they bother with the trouble of occupation?

Kurds aim to ethnically cleanse all the Turkmen in their territory? Sounds like our veteran novelist is barking at the moon like a Gray Wolf. Probably was a Gray Wolf who passed this juicy lie to him. After all, our fiction writer is an American, and America is Turkey’s best ally. But where is demographics most crucial for Southern Kurds? Kerkuk, right? Where would be the best place to wipe out Turkmen then? Kerkuk, right? This is what Turkey and the Iraqi Turkmen Front would like fiction writers like John Batchelor to believe. I guess they all missed this news, from South Kurdistan:

“Those Turkmen who live in Kirkuk do not fall under KRG jurisdiction, so they cannot vote. Kurdistan includes three provinces and Kirkuk is not included, so they do not have the right to participate in elections in Kurdistan,” he says. “If Kirkuk were restored to Kurdistan, we might have 20 MPs in the Kurdistan parliament instead of four. And instead of two ministers, we would have five ministers, or maybe even a deputy prime minister.”

According to Noureddin, the Turkmen population in Erbil alone numbers 250,000 Turkmen. In greater Kurdistan, he guesstimates there to be about a million, with about 350,000 in Kirkuk. In Iraq, there are probably 2.5 million Turkmen, he claims. The Movement claims to have 4,500 members, and receives funding from the KRG.

That’s from an interview on Soma Digest with the Turkmen Democratic Front head, Kalkhi Najmaddin Noureddin in Hewlêr. He was a founding member of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF), but eventually left the movement. Here’s why:

But after realizing that the party would not achieve their intended goals, “because foreign interference does not serve the interests of Turkmens in Kurdistan”, some members, including Noureddin, decided to splinter in 2004.

The foreign interference he’s talking about is Turkey. The ITF is true to its name; It is very much a front for Turkish interests and has been involved with JITEM activity in South Kurdistan and Kerkuk. It seems to be losing credibility lately, “losing members everyday,” as Noureddin remarks at the end of the Soma interview. Obviously there is no reason to slaughter Turkmen in KRG-administered areas and no reason to slaughter them in Kerkuk. With the exception of the ITF, there is no reason for Kurds to harm Turkmen at all, but Turkey stands everything to gain by pushing this lie. Just as Iran has been interfering with the Shi’a, so Turkey has been interfering with Kurds. ITF is a proper target because it’s the proxy of Turkey, just as Hezbollah is the proxy of Iran.

The bottom line here is that I have never heard a single mention of slaughtering Turkmen from any Kurd–not in Diaspora and not in Kurdistan. Kurds aren’t that way. If our veteran novelist had ever met Kurds or bothered to listen to Kurds, he’d know that.

Pretty interesting those demographic figures on Turkmen from Noureddi, eh?

Our veteran novelist tries to explain how Iran is going to move armaments through “tribal routes”–whatever those are–through Turkey and Kurdistan to Syria. The problem here is that it is impossible for Iran to move armaments through Turkey unless they go through Armenia and parts of Georgia. On the other hand, Iran could move armaments through Turkish-occupied Kurdistan with the connivance of Iran’s good ally, Turkey. Wouldn’t it be really great if those transport convoys became fat little targets for a few of PKK’s remote-controlled bombs? Imagine the secondary explosions from that! Otherwise, I seriously doubt that the KRG is going to permit any such movements through South Kurdistan. After all, they don’t even want to get involved with mere talks between the CIA and the PKK, as the article from yesterday’s post shows.

Ask yourself where this guy gets his information. Where does it sound like it’s coming from? Maybe from another of Turkey’s allies . . . like Israel? John Batchelor has been to Israel 9 times in the last 3 years.

Israel has never said anything about Turkey’s atrocities against Kurds. In that respect, Kurds are sort of like Armenians in Israel’s eyes, because Israel has never acknowledged the Armenian genocide. You’d think that a people that had been decimated by the Europeans some 60 years ago would be more sensitive when similar things happen to others. Maybe not. The historic relationship that Israel had with the Southern Kurds (and with Barzanî Nemirî in particular) is something else to remember, and it was not a one-way street, either. In 1971, Barzanî Nemirî and his pêşmerge risked their lives to save 3,000 Iraqi Jews, leading them through the Zagros Mountains to the safety of Iran. From there they departed for Israel and other destinations further west.

But why would Israel spread around a dangerous scenario about Kurds such as that written up by our intrepid author of political romance novels? Why bother to antagonize the largest non-Arab ethnic group in the Middle East, a nation of potential allies? Could profits be the reason? From The Nation:

Indeed, there are some in military and intelligence circles who have taken to using “axis of evil” in reference to JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) and CSP (Center for Security Policy), along with venerable repositories of hawkish thinking like the American Enterprise Institute and the Hudson Institute, as well as defense contractors, conservative foundations and public relations entities underwritten by far-right American Zionists (all of which help to underwrite JINSA and CSP). It’s a milieu where ideology and money seamlessly blend: “Whenever you see someone identified in print or on TV as being with the Center for Security Policy or JINSA championing a position on the grounds of ideology or principle–which they are unquestionably doing with conviction–you are, nonetheless, not informed that they’re also providing a sort of cover for other ideologues who just happen to stand to profit from hewing to the Likudnik and Pax Americana lines,” says a veteran intelligence officer. He notes that while the United States has begun a phaseout of civilian aid to Israel that will end by 2007, government policy is to increase military aid by half the amount of civilian aid that’s cut each year–which is not only a boon to both the US and Israeli weapons industries but is also crucial to realizing the far right’s vision for missile defense and the Middle East.

Who’s been affiliated with JINSA past and present? Dick Cheney, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Eugene Rostow, and Michael Ledeen. Of the retired US military officers affiliated with JINSA, either as supporters or advisors, almost all have worked with military contractors who do business with the Pentagon and Israel. The contractors are heavy-hitters too, including Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics. Boeing has a presence in the CSP. Also deep into CSP are Lockheed Martin, TRW, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, and Hewlett-Packard.

All of these icons of the American military-industrial complex are well represented with the ATC (American Turkish Council), too, which makes for a lot of mutual special interests. When the Cold War ended, the threat was that blood money might become scarce. What to do with such a crisis looming? According to a paper penned by Perle, Feith, and a few others, in 1996, the answer was obvious: create a new cold war:

. . . [B]eyond economics, the paper essentially reads like a blueprint for a mini-cold war in the Middle East, advocating the use of proxy armies for regime changes, destabilization and containment.

Although The Nation article dates from August, 2002, given the expanding events in the Middle East, it looks prophetic in hindsight. Given the work of fiction by our veteran novelist of political romances, someone is trying to align Kurds with the very evildoers that Kurds, themselves, oppose.

Resistance continues to be life.


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