LIES AND LOBBYISTS

“If you can’t drink a lobbyist’s whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women and still vote against him in the morning, you don’t belong in politics.”
~ Unknown.

A friend in Amed (Diyarbakır) sent a link from Yüksekova Haber which says that Katil Erdoğan is planning a trip to Amed on 21 February in support of the AKP mayoral candidate Kutbettin Arzu. According to Yüksekova Haber, Katil Erdoğan may reveal a “new incentive package” for the region.

Everyone take a trip in the time machine with me back to almost one year ago when Katil Erdoğan was talking the same BS in the NYTimes:

Turkey’s government is planning a broad series of investments worth as much as $12 billion in the country’s largely Kurdish southeast, in a new economic effort intended to create jobs and draw young men away from militancy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

The program is intended to drain support for the militant Kurdish group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, by improving the lives of Turkey’s impoverished Kurdish minority, Mr. Erdogan said in an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday.

[ . . . ]

Mr. Erdogan is still identifying funds for the economic effort, which was started years ago by a previous administration but languished. The state will invest between $11 billion and $12 billion over five years to build two large dams and a system of water canals, complete paved roads and remove land mines from the fields along the Syrian border, he said.

Plans for the project will be completed within two months, he said, at which point construction on the two dams will begin. He said he had dedicated one of his deputy prime ministers to visit cities across the largely Kurdish southeast to work on it.

“Everything we can see in the western part of the country we can see in the east,” he said.

Yeah, right. Tell me another one.

As I mentioned at the time, not even the extremely pro-status quo, pro-terrorist Jamestown Foundation was fooled by Katil Erdoğan’s hot air:

It is unclear whether, in his interview with the New York Times, Erdogan was being disingenuous in presenting the promised $12 billion as a new initiative or whether the reporters were unaware of the project’s background and thus assumed it was a new initiative. In fact, the dams, water canals, and roads form part of what is known as the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP), which was first formulated in the 1970s and began to be implemented in the early 1980s.

[ . . . ]

One only has to fly over the region to see the effect of GAP on agriculture in the Tigris and Euphrates basins, transforming large tracts of what was previously semi-arid land into cultivated fields. In areas such as the Harran plain, annual yields of cotton, wheat, barley, and lentils have tripled. However, GAP has had a greater impact on agricultural productivity than on employment. Even though it has undoubtedly created jobs in local service industries, GAP’s overall impact on employment in southeast Turkey has been minor.

As well as being the poorest region in Turkey, the southeast also has the highest rate of population increase. Even in some of the richest areas in the GAP region, the pace of job creation has lagged behind the growth in available workforce. In most of the cities of southeast Turkey the unemployment rate is double or triple the 9.9% average in the country as a whole. Among young people in the cities of southeastern Turkey, unemployment often reaches 50-60%. There is no reason to suppose that, even if they can be completed, the Ilisu and Silvan dams and their associated irrigation systems will have a major impact on employment in the region.

[ . . . ]

Many Kurds already resent not only the displacements resulting from GAP, but also what they regard as the resulting destruction of their heritage through the filling of the dams, which are also used to produce electricity for the rest of the country.

It is also difficult to see how the completion of a project that was originally formulated in the 1970s will be interpreted as demonstrating the AKP’s commitment to the region. Perhaps more significant, although it is impossible to be sure of the precise impact of the two-thirds of GAP that has been completed to date on recruitment to the PKK, what is certain is that it has not prevented it. Whatever else the PKK and other militant organizations in southeast Turkey – which is also the main recruiting ground for violent Islamist groups – may be short of, it is not recruits.

We didn’t buy it then; we don’t buy it now. If Katil Erdoğan unveils a “new incentive package” in Amed on the weekend, it will be the same, old, warmed-over crap.

In other news, it looks like the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has had complaints filed against it by some ethics “watchdog” in DC:

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate urging an investigation into whether the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) and the ANCA Endowment Fund violated their status as charitable organizations, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and the Lobbying Disclosure Act.

Both ANCA-WR and the ANCA Endowment Fund, which share offices and a common website, have participated in political campaigns in violation of federal tax law, which specifically bars groups organized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code from participating in political campaigns. Nevertheless, on October 24, 2008, ANCA announced its endorsements of 15 candidates for the United States Senate and 211 candidates for the United States House of Representatives and published these endorsements on its shared website with ANCA-WR: http://www.anca.org. ANCA also endorsed the Obama-Biden ticket for the presidency.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) requires agents of foreign political parties to register with the Department of Justice, periodically report and describe their activities aimed at influencing policies of the United States and to disclose the dissemination of information, including testimony before Congress.

Just a few short weeks ago, Turkish parliamentarians scrambled in the wake of Katil Erdoğan’s Davos temper tantrum in order to contain the fallout with Jewish lobby groups . . . and the Armenians:

The Ruling Justice and Development Party’s, or AKP’s, Cüneyt Yüksel and Suat Kınıklıoğlu, and the Nationalist Movement Party’s, or MHP, Mithat Melen, were in the United States between Jan. 29 and Feb. 6 to lobby against any genocide resolutions.

Following their talks with U.S. officials, as well as a roundtable meeting with representatives from 10 Jewish organizations, the AKP deputies drafted a report emphasizing the “Jewish lobby-Armenian alliance” and submitted it to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The report included a host of other topics relating to Turkey, ranging from Turkish-Armenian relations to the Israeli offensive in Gaza and the Davos summit, as well as Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, and further reaching topics such as terrorism and international security.

The deputies warned that the heated panel debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Davos, which ended when Erdoğan walked off stage after being interrupted by the moderator, drew the Jewish lobby in the United States closer to Armenian lobby groups.

[ . . . ]

The deputies highlighted a campaign prepared to be launched by four congressmen in the U.S. House of Representative in support of the Armenian thesis and warned, “Armenians believe an opportunity to pass the draft resolution has emerged after Davos.”

The report called for lobbying activities and encouraged deputies to visit Washington more frequently.

The four congressmen are named elsewhere:

In a message to fellow members of Congress, Reps. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), George Radanovich (R.-Calif.), Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.) are urging them “to re-affirm the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide by cosponsoring a bipartisan resolution” on the subject, according to a February 10 electronic letter made available to the Armenian Reporter.

Not to worry, though; an agreement appears to have been reached between the Turks and the American pro-Israel lobby:

Last week, two members of the Turkish parliament from the ruling party, Suat Kiniklioglu and Cuneyt Yuskel, were in the United States to lobby against the resolution. According to the Jamestown Foundation’s translation, the two, having met U.S. officials and Jewish-American leaders, told Zaman newspaper that the “pro-Israel lobby will stay neutral if a genocide resolution is brought to the Congress; in case a resolution passed, Turkey should not hold Israel responsible as such a policy would make the Congress upset; and in order to prevent such genocide resolution, Turkey should open its Armenian border.”

So, is the news today about the ANCA complaints a coincidence or a conspiracy? Remember, the lobbying “problem” wasn’t a problem when Lockheed Martin lobbyist–registered with the Senate under the Lobbying Disclosure Act–Joseph Ralston was appointed as “special envoy to coordinate the PKK for Turkey”.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: