FRIDAY NOTES

“One joy shatters a hundred griefs.”
~ Chinese proverb.

Let me catch up with some things that I have wanted to post here this week but have not had the chance to do.

Firstly, thanks very much to the heval who pointed out to me that there is a series of twenty-one videos of the Peace and Democracy Groups in Diyarbakır on Youtube which were taken from Roj TV. When you watch these videos you will notice the celebratory mood of the people, something that has received intense criticism in Turkish media.

With that in mind, one should ask why these people are celebrating. Is it because this is a victory for PKK? In a way it is, but that’s not the primary motivation for the celebration. Do the people celebrate because they are finally reunited with guerrilla family members that they never thought they’d see again? For some of these people, that is certainly the reason. They are seeing fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles that they never dreamed they’d see again. Every guerrilla goes to the mountains with the realization that they will not be coming back. Either they will die in the mountains or they will live out the rest of their lives there.

But the reunification of eight guerrillas with their families does not explain why ten thousand people descended on Silopi in joy, or why one hundred thousand showed up to greet the peace groups in Diyarbakır. So this cannot be the primary motivation for celebration either.

The primary motivation for the rejoicing we have witnessed in the last few days is that all of these people believe they can see the faint light that heralds the end of the long, dark tunnel of war. If there are tears being shed during these celebrations, they are not the tears of victory; they are tears of joy at the prospect of peace.

This is something that is not even remotely fathomed in Western Turkey because the people there–with rare exception–have no idea what has happened in The Southeast for the last twenty-five years. They have no inkling of the level of destruction that has taken place, whether that destruction has been physical or psychological. They have no idea of the level of poverty that still exists. They have no idea of the numbers of the missing, or the tortured, or the displaced. They have no idea . . .

Anyway . . . enough of that for now because I hate crying.

Next, Military.com ran a feature earlier this week on Sibel Edmonds and her claims of espionage at the Department of Defense. What’s unique about this piece is that the author managed to get statements from some of the worst vermin that Sibel has named. Here’s something from the Prince of Darkness himself:

“This woman is a nutcase. Certifiable,” [Neocon extraordinaire Richard] Perle said. “She makes wild accusations. She was fired from her job, and has been on a vendetta against … imagined demons ever since.”

There’s also something from the guy General Tommy Franks called “the dumbest fucking guy on the planet”:

[Doug] Feith, in an email to Military.com, said: “What I’ve read on the Internet about Ms. Edmonds’s claims about me is wildly false and bizarre.”

The only one who couldn’t–or wouldn’t–speak for himself was Mr. Susurluk, Marc Grossman:

Robert S. Tyrer, co-president of The Cohen Group, a Washington lobbying firm where Grossman is now a vice chairman, told Military.com in an email that Edmonds’ allegations against the former ambassador “are completely untrue and ludicrous.”

Okay. If these three little roaches think that Sibel Edmonds’ claims are “completely untrue”, “wildly false and bizarre”, or that she “makes wild accusations”, why don’t they bring suit for defamation? Why don’t they bring suit against all the publications who’ve printed Sibel’s story or against those media that have interviewed her for television or radio? And that seems to be the general argument in the comments to The Brad Blog’s report on Military.com’s piece.

Thirdly, Luke Rosiak, who’s been documenting the Turkish lobby for the Sunlight Foundation, notes that Robert Wexler (D-FL) has suddenly decided to abandon his seat in Congress to take a job at a little-known pro-Israeli think-tank. What’s interesting about Rosiak’s piece is that he discusses the sad state of Wexler’s financial affairs. What links Wexler to the Turkish lobby is the fact that he was a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on US-Turkish Relations. One year from now we should definitely expect to see Wexler take a nice job working for the Government of Turkey as a lobbyist and–POOF!!–watch his financial woes disappear forever!

“Happy days are here again . . . “

Finally, from a friend in Diyarbakir, the DTP’s Union of Southeast Anatolian Municipalities has produced a tourist book for North Kurdistan which you can view at their website. If you click on the main photos for each city, you will be able to download a .pdf file which contains lots of photos of the cities and their surrounding areas as well as the history and culture of each region. The books are available in both Turkish and English and if you’re going to the region, you should definitely read through the available files. I mean, there are tons more information about The Southeast in this book than in any generic travel book of Turkey that I’ve seen.

I have also posted a link to the book in the right margin under “Kurdish Cities”.

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