In a democratic society, you’re supposed to be an activist; that is, you participate. It could be a letter written to an editor.
~ Studs Terkel.

The International Herald Tribune has an article on Joe Ralston’s arrival in Turkey for more talks with Turkish officials on “coordinating” the Kurdish freedom movement.

The article notes that the PKK called a unilateral ceasefire that went into effect on 1 October, but that the Turkish government has ignored the ceasefire. The American government has ignored the ceasefire also.

The fact is, the Turkish army continues its operations as if there had been no change in the status of hostilities.

The IHT article also notes former Turkish General Edip Baser’s comments on Turkish NTV:

In an interview with NTV television late Tuesday, Baser would not elaborate on measures he would discuss with Ralston but said the steps would not be “immediately visible” and urged patience. Baser said there were several ways to combat terrorism, including cutting off all political, financial and logistical support.

Perhaps old Edip didn’t want to elaborate because he and Joe will be discussing something besides ways to counter PKK . . . It might be far more lucrative for both the American and Turkish PKK coordinators to discuss ways to sweeten the purchase of a new fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF’s.

Nowhere in the article is there any hint of the conflict of interest that the appointment of Joe Raslton as the American PKK coordinator creates. There is no mention of Joe Ralston as a member of the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin, of his vice-chairmanship with a private lobby firm, The Cohen Group (to which Lockheed Martin paid $550,000 in 2005 for services rendered), nor is there any mention of Joe Ralston’s position on the 2006 Board of Advisors for the American Turkish Council (ATC).

Remember, the ATC is Turkey’s premier lobby group in the US and has previously been the subject of FBI counter-intelligence investigations.

The good thing about this article is that it gives us the opportunity to provide the IHT with feedback, and enlighten the editors about the conflict of interest that Joseph Ralston’s appointment as PKK coordinator creates. This conflict of interest makes it impossible to believe that either the US or Turkey is sincere in ending the 22-year-old conflict against the Kurdish people.

Whoever has time, please send an email to the editors of IHT at, and let them know about the conflict of interest. In fact, even if you think you don’t have time, make the time. This is your opportunity to help us get this news into the mainstream media.

Like I always say: Shit happens, but not unless we make it happen.

Gelek sipas û Serkeftin!


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