In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Links of the Day 2/23/2008

Once again a Bush has betrayed the Kurdish people.



Bush could not attack the Kurds so now he lets Turkey do his dirty work for him. Today I weep for the Kurds and all those who fled to the northern region of Iraq from the rest of the violence in their country.

The Kurdish region of Iraq had become a safe haven for Shia and Sunni, where they lived in relative peace until the Kurds signed their own oil contracts.

How can the Bush administration just sit by and allow Turkey to attack and bomb the innocent along with the guilty? And worse the UN and the world sit by and watch as Turkey commit’s murder on the Kurds.

Turkey uses the excuse that the PKK has been attacking them, all while our own media ignores the Turkish and Iranian troop build up along the Kurdish boarder.

I am horrified because it is about the oil. The Kurds passed their own oil laws and Bush/Cheney didn’t like it, so now he sits back and allows Turkey to bring down the only success to come out of the occupation in Iraq.

The Kurds wanted to keep the oil profits for their people.

The Kurds opposed the America puppet Maliki and Iraq’s Parliament because their oil law would have given American oil corporations control of Iraq’s oil for 30 years or more.

So now Turkey is committing genocide in Iraq as they always have in the own country. Turkey like South Africa had created it’s own apartheid of the Kurds, treating them like third class citizens.

Why is the UN doing nothing but issuing statements?




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What I’ve tried to do is give you a time line by beginning with today’s news about what’s happening in the Kurdish region and working all the way back to the first Gulf War with Daddy Bush.

America has always asked the Kurds to stand up and fight and when they did the United States of America has betrayed them!!!

The Kurdish people only want a country of the their own, like the Jews and for that reason they fought and will continue fighting.

I want to tell the Kurds good luck and good night.




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'Dozens dead' in Turkish assault

Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 05:22 GMT 

Turkey's army says its ground offensive in northern Iraq has left five soldiers and dozens of Kurdish rebels dead.

Turkey said its ground forces had crossed the border to tackle rebels late on Thursday after an air and artillery bombardment.

PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the offensive is limited in scale and troops will return as soon as possible.

The UN secretary general and the US have urged Turkey to show restraint in the offensive.

A Turkish army statement said: "It has been understood from preliminary information that the terrorists have suffered heavy losses under long-range weapons fire and air strikes."

It said that 24 Kurdish rebels had been killed in clashes, and at least another 20 by artillery fire and rounds from helicopter gunships.
A Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) spokesman, Ahmad Danas, earlier said two Turkish troops were killed and eight wounded in fighting.

Neither report can be independently confirmed.

Mr Erdogan had told Turks on television: "The target, purpose, size and parameters of this operation are limited.

"Our armed forces will come back in the shortest time possible as soon as they achieve their objectives," he said, insisting that members of the PKK were the sole targets.

Correspondents say the aim is to isolate the organisation and prevent it using northern Iraq as a launch pad for attacks on Turkish soil.

Washington said it had been informed of the incursion in advance and that it had urged the Turks to limit their action to precise targeting of rebel Kurdish targets.

Reports from Turkey on the size of the assault force have varied from 3,000 to 10,000 soldiers.

But senior Iraqi Kurdish sources told the BBC the Turkish side had exaggerated the operation, which they believe to be "very, very limited", and in a remote border area.


'Unusual timing'

Turkey's military said the cross-border ground operation backed by the Air Force was launched at 1900 [1700 GMT on Thursday].

Turkey has carried out at least one ground incursion, as well as frequent air and artillery strikes, against suspected PKK targets in Iraq since parliament authorised the army to act in October 2007.

But this operation's timing is unusual as the mountainous border area is still covered with heavy snow, the BBC's Sarah Rainsford reports from Istanbul.

Nor have there been any major PKK attacks inside Turkey for some time, she adds.

More than 30,000 people have been killed since the PKK began fighting for a Kurdish homeland in south-eastern Turkey in 1984.

The US, the EU and Turkey consider the PKK to be a "terrorist" organisation.

President's call

Top Iraqi Kurdish and government officials are saying there has been no crossing at the Habur bridge, the only major land route into Iraq, the BBC's Jim Muir reports from Baghdad.

Kurdistan Democratic Party militants who control the area in question inside northern Iraq say they have not detected any Turkish forces near any of their own lines.

The office of Turkish President Abdullah Gul says the leader phoned his Iraqi counterpart, Jalal Talabani, about the operation on Thursday evening.

Mr Talabani's office confirmed a conversation had taken place during which Mr Gul invited him to visit Ankara officially, and also assured him that any Turkish operations were against the PKK, not against the Iraqi Kurds.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern about the situation.
"The protection of civilian life on both sides of the border remains the paramount concern," he said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7260119.stm




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Turkey pursues Iraq offensive

UPDATED ON:
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2008
10:05 MECCA TIME, 7:05 GMT

Turkish troops are expected to escalate their ground offensive against separatist Kurdish fighters based in the mountains of northern Iraq.

Iraq has protested against the operation, Turkey's second incursion into its southern neighbour in three months, and the United Nations and Western powers have called for restraint.

However, the international reaction has been relatively muted, some arguing that regular air assaults by Turkey and greater stability within Iraq have quietened voices of condemnation.

The Turkish army is already claiming to have killed 24 members of the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK).

Five Turkish soldiers have died in the operation, which started on Thursday with an air bombardment.

The mission against the PKK, which wants Kurdish self-rule in southern Turkey, is being conducted in heavy snow, leading some military analysts to suggest that Turkey hopes to use the surprise element of a winter onslaught to wrong foot the separatists.

The ground operation started after Turkish fighter jets and artillery bombed suspected PKK targets on Thursday, the military said on its website. Several bridges were destroyed.

"After the successful bombing, a cross-border ground incursion backed by the air force started at 1900 (1700 GMT)" on Thursday, it said.

Independent information on the mission is minimal as the region is a closed zone and has been sealed off to journalists.

Reactions

Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi foreign minister, estimated that "hundreds, rather than thousands" of troops were involved. Initial estimates put the troop figure at 10,000.

Iraqi officials handed a note to Turkey's charge d'affaires in Baghdad protesting against the incursion, while a spokesman for Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, said he had telephoned Reccip Tayyib Erdogan, his Turkish counterpart, urging him to respect Iraq's sovereignty.

In New York, Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said he was "concerned" by the escalating tension and called for restraint.

A similar warning came from the US, which has been supplying Turkey with intelligence on PKK movements and which said it had been told of the incursion beforehand.

Scott Stanzel, a White House spokesman, said: "We were notified and we urged the Turkish government to limit their operations to precise targeting of the PKK, to limit the scope and duration of their operations."

In Brussels, the European Commission asked Turkey to "refrain from any disproportionate military action" and Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, said Turkey's action was "not the best response".

Britain urged Turkey to withdraw its forces "as early as possible" and avoid harming civilians, while Germany warned Ankara of the "risk of destabilisation."
'Extraordinary response'

The Turkish army's general staff said in a statement: "The Turkish armed forces, which attach great importance to Iraq's territorial integrity and stability, will return home in the shortest time possible after its goals have been achieved."

Laurence Lee, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Istanbul, said: "I think Turkey sees a window of opportunity. It could it be that the Americans think the security situation in Iraq has stabilised very slightly and perhaps if there is fighting in the north it will not have any knock-on effects for the rest of the country.

"It could be that the Americans are now suddenly taking a longer-term view and have decided that if they want to launch a military operation, then they need Turkey to help them with that.

"But it is extraordinary that the only people that have come out against this is the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq and that everybody else seems to have suddenly accepted that it is ok to do."

Al Jazeera's correspondent Yousef al-Sharif said that Ankara had informed Baghdad and Washington of the incursion.

Al-Sharif said that the Turkish armed forces were planning to finish up their "integration operation" and return as soon as they can.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/EC0D4C31-507F-495B-A9F2-35992BD363EF.htm



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: Turkish incursion as it can be observed from Sirnak :

This is an image

Sirnak, Kurdistan (KurdishMedia.com) 23 February 2008: The things are not very clear from here and we are all confused. Large and long line of heavily armed troops followed by units of the special forces crossed from this point in Sirnak (Shirnak). There was a some sort of standoff at one time between the peshmarga forces and the Turkish army. The standoff took place at a village near the town Amedyie where the pashmerga forces did not permit the army move up to the town where Turkey has an army base since 1994 (insight KRG).

There are reports of heavy face to face fighting from areas of Barde Shin and Zaxo (basya region) between the PKK fighters and the Turkish army. Two Turkish armed men were killed and eight were wounded according to pro-Kurdish website firatnews.org. Turkish army is now based in these points: Etrus, Bilicane, Seve, Çukurca ve Gerdiya and likely to camp over night. There flying jet over head and big gun fair from the near border can be heard and seen. There also reports that the army may have entered into southern Kurdistan from other border points of Sirnak. There is heavy build up at the border and still advancing.

The situation is very tense. The local Kurds at bordering towns in both sides of the border holding protest against the move.

Its very strange for the Turks to start attacking the PKK bases in the middle of the winter. According to the locals at some areas of Qandil mountain the snow gets as highest as two meter. Some people think such move is more designed for media-show and psychological war against PKK and keeping the PKK issue alive within the international press and community.

There are two fixed Turkish bases inside northern Iraq, at Bamarni and Batoufa, where a limited number of troops and tanks have been stationed since 1997 with a static monitoring and intelligence function.


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Israel supports Turkish oppression of Kurds :

This is an image

London (KurdishMedia.com) 23 February 2008: Israel has been supporting Turkey in its oppression against Kurdish people, revealed local sources.

A spokesperson of the PKK stated that in the current conflict, the Israeli army is assisting Turks in their oppression of Kurds.

The Turkish Prime Minister stated that the incursion is coordinated with “the local administration in Northern Iraq.” This implies that the Kurdistan Regional Government, which Turkey terms as administration of Northern Iraq, avoiding using the words “Kurd” or “Kurdistan”, have been coordinating with Turkey.

By the coordination with the “local administration in Northern Iraq” the Turkish Prime Minister may mean Jalal Talabani, the head of PUK and the President of Iraq. Abdulla Gul telephoned Talabani on Friday. Turkey refuses to recognise any Kurdistan Regional Government. In fact, Turkey refuses to recognsie an ethinc group known as Kurd.

However in a statement, 24 hours after the incursion and under huge pressure from media and people of Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) issued a statement condemning the incursion.

comments to: km@ikurd.com

http://www.kurdmedia.com/article.aspx?id=14576


More information can be found at

http://www.kurdmedia.com/


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Iraq fears Turkey troop build-up

Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK

Iraq says Turkey has 140,000 soldiers along its border, prompting fears of an incursion against Kurdish guerrillas.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari an ethnic Kurd himself, said his government was against any breach of Iraqi sovereignty.
He called for talks with Ankara to solve the issue.

Turkey accuses Kurdish separatists of staging attacks from inside Iraq. It has often warned Baghdad that it is prepared to take military action.

Turkey has not commented on the figure of 140,000 quoted by Mr Zebari. If the figure is accurate, Turkey would have nearly as many soldiers along its border with Iraq as the 155,000 troops which the US has in the country.
In Washington, White House spokesman Tony Snow said the US shared Turkey's concerns but that it was "important, we think, to recognise the territorial sovereignty of Iraq".

Mr Zebari said he understood Turkey's "legitimate security concerns", but said the best way to address them was by reviving the tripartite military and security commission, which involves Iraq, Turkey and the US.

"We are fighting terrorism here in the streets and neighbourhoods of Baghdad. If the expectation (is) to release all these troops to go and fight in the north and in the Kurdish mountains, the thing is that the timing is not right for that," Mr Zebari said.

Turkey has been fighting the left-wing PKK Kurdish guerrillas since 1984, in a war which has claimed up to 30,000 lives.

There has been an upsurge in fighting in recent months, with the Turkish army claiming it has killed 110 rebels since the start of the year and losing in turn 67 soldiers in clashes with the PKK.

The government of the Islamist-rooted AK Party has been under pressure from the military to take action against Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq.

There have been a series of reports of a build-up of Turkish troops along the border in recent weeks. Last week, Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said the government and the military had agreed detailed plans on how a cross-border offensive might be carried out.
BBC regional analyst Stephanie Irvine says the current build-up of troops at the border may herald action or may be designed merely to show Washington and Baghdad that Ankara is running out of patience with their failure to deal with the Turkish separatist rebels in northern Iraq.

Turkey is in the middle of an election campaign, with parliamentary polls due to take place on 22 July.

Nationalist parties are expected to perform well on the back of the wave of popular clamour for action against Kurdish separatists.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6284718.stm



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Kurds to 'block' Iraq oil law

UPDATED ON:
SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2007
22:46 MECCA TIME, 19:46 GMT

Iraq's Kurdish region has said it will try to block a draft oil law in parliament, raising the stakes in a row with the central government.

The Kurdistan autonomous region backed the draft law in February but has disputed annexes to it that would give control of oilfields to a new state-run oil company.

Ashti Hawrami, minister of natural resources in Kurdistan, said: "These annexes are unconstitutional and will not be supported by the Kurdish regional government in the federal parliament."

The Kurdistan autonomous region could be on a collision course with Baghdad over the US-backed draft.

The threat to fight the bill in Iraq's national parliament comes just days after the oil ministry in Baghdad warned regions against signing contracts until the law was passed.

'Old regime'

Officials from the Iraqi government and Kurdistan have clashed over the annexes, raising the prospect of delays that have already dogged the lengthy drafting of the legislation. Hawrami repeated a threat that his oil-rich region would implement its own oil laws if no agreement was reached on the dispute over the annexes. And Kurdish officials have already signed deals with foreign oil companies.

"The annexes must recognise that the Kurdish regional government has already allocated exploration and development blocks in the Kurdistan region under Production Sharing Agreements pursuant to the Iraq Constitution," he said.

In a reference to Saddam Hussein, Hawrami said the newly created Iraq National Oil Company (INOC) would be a return to "old regime methods".

"The concentration of power in the hands of INOC will represent a return to method of petroleum management of previous Iraqi regimes.

"Where centralised oil power was ... used to fund violent campaigns by elites against neighbouring countries and against our own Iraqi citizens," he said.

Officials from the central government and Kurdish regional officials have said they would meet to settle the disputes, but Hawrami said sending a delegation to Baghdad was "futile".

A US government official in Baghdad said on Sunday Washington was confident the law would pass.

"I think that the government is committed to getting the oil law through. I know various bodies have expressed concern about the hydrocarbon law given the stakes involved," the official said.

"The government has a majority in parliament."

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/B623B1FE-266E-4CA4-ABC3-14F71E8CB8EB.htm




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Kurdistan - The Latest Bush Betrayal

Friday :: Aug 18, 2006

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 government 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 concerned] 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?

Used.

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 Dogan 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.

Copyrighted [©] source material contained in this article is presented under the provisions of Fair Use.


FAIR USE NOTICE


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http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/008505.php





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THREATS AND RESPONSES: NORTHERN IRAQ; Kurds Plead for Protection Against Gas and Fault U.S.

By DAVID ROHDE Published: March 13, 2003

Dr. Baravan Saidullah sits in his barren clinic each day and tries not to think about the Iraqi soldiers on a hilltop a mile away. If they lob chemical weapons into this town surrounded by a sea of wheat fields, the young doctor's instructions to civilians are simple: run.

''The only preparation is evacuation,'' Dr. Saidullah said. ''If there is war, we don't believe anyone will escape.''

Kurdish officials here say that the United States has failed to respond to repeated requests for gas masks and chemical weapons suits for the people of Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. Local officials say only a few dozen antiquated gas masks are available in the region, which is home to 3.8 million people.

Leaders of the Kurds, a group whose gassing by Saddam Hussein's forces has been invoked by Washington as one justification for war, say they are defenseless against a chemical attack. An estimated 5,000 Kurds were killed in Iraqi attacks believed to involve nerve gas and blister agents like mustard gas in the late 1980's, according to Kurdish medical researchers. In all, 60,000 Kurds died in a campaign by the Iraqi military to put down a Kurdish insurgency.

In a letter to President Bush on Feb. 13, two Kurdish leaders, Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani, expressed alarm over the lack of equipment.

''There is a growing anxiety at the inability to deliver on pledges of help to our region,'' they wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. ''We have yet to receive any of the protective equipment promised by your officials to deal with the very real risk of chemical or biological weapons attack.''

A senior American official said in a telephone interview that the Pentagon was addressing the problem. He said Turkey's recent blocking of the deployment of American troops had complicated the situation.

''There was one set of circumstances when American forces were coming in a big way through Turkey,'' said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ''If they don't come through Turkey then the issue is different. We are very much focused on that issue.''
Officials in Washington have cited other possible obstacles to providing equipment to the Kurds, including restrictions in United Nations resolutions and United States law on sending supplies to Iraq.

Bardarash illustrates how vulnerable the Kurds are to attack. The bustling community of 11,000 people sits on a broad plain. Nearby, on rolling green hilltops, Iraqi soldiers occupy bunkers that can be seen over roofs.

There is little sense of panic here. On a recent afternoon, two dozen Kurdish youths played soccer in bright white and royal blue jerseys as Iraqi soldiers sat on the hilltops. Through binoculars, the Iraqi soldiers could be seen lounging on the grass without their rifles, or sitting and chatting with one another.

''We know the U.S. will protect us,'' said Idris Yisin, the amiable, middle-aged coach of one of the soccer teams. ''But if they don't, what can we do?''

Even if American cruise missiles and airstrikes destroy Iraqi missiles and rockets in an initial attack, Iraqi soldiers could fire artillery or mortar rounds with chemical warheads into the town. The nearby Kurdish-controlled cities of Erbil and Dohuk are only 10 to 15 miles from Iraqi forces and lie within rocket and artillery range. The two cities have a combined population of well over one million.

In interviews, most Kurds expressed an odd combination of calm and fatalism. They said they trusted the United States to protect them and expected Iraqi soldiers to simply surrender should there be war. But victims of past chemical attacks expressed alarm. They asked how, 14 years after they were gassed, the United States and other countries could have failed to provide them with protective gear.

''I'm worried to an extent that I can't go on studying,'' said Dhahir Mahmood Ahmed, 23, a college student who survived a 1988 Iraqi gas attack on the city of Halabja that killed at least 4,000 people, including his uncle and 12 cousins. Asked what he would do in the event of an attack now, he said, ''I will wait for death.''

Dr. Saidullah, a wiry 30-year-old general practitioner, said he had no protective suits and no antidotes to treat victims. The only chemical weapons training he had received, he said, was a one-day course taught by Kurdish doctors who received their information from the Internet and books. In an attack, he said, civilians are to cover their mouths with a wet cloth that includes a piece of charcoal if possible and flee to higher ground.
He asked why Kuwaiti and Israeli civilians were well equipped while the Kurds had nothing.

''You in the U.S. are responsible for what happens here,'' he said. ''Pray for us.''

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9507E0D6123EF930A25750C0A9659C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2



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Bill Clinton betrayed the Kurds too.

Turkey's Secular Model

Wall Street Journal-Europe (op-ed page),
April 24, 1996
by Kenneth R. Timmerman
krt@iran.org



Washington, DC - Europe's odd man out, Turkey, has come to play a pivotal role in the Middle East and Central Asia, despite the cold shoulder it continues to receive from the European Community. But Turkey's new importance, strongly encouraged by the United States and more recently by Israel, has not been without its growing pains. Attacked by many liberals for its military campaign against the guerrillas of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), Turkey has reacted by extending back-handed support to Saddam Hussein with the aim of preventing the emergence of an autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. This in turn has created a major opportunity for Iran, which by all accounts today calls the shots in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Turkey and Iran have increasingly become rivals, not only in the struggle over the future of Iraq but in Central Asia and beyond. For the peoples of Central Asia, Turkey's secular democracy, with its strong ties to the West, presents a refreshing alternative to Iran's dour fundamentalism. Turkish-language broadcasting and television stations have attracted a wider audience in Central Asia than their Iranian counterparts.

With little popular response to political Islam in the Central Asian republics, Iran has largely abandoned its earlier attempts to export its revolutionary ideology and has instead forged more practical ties with the countries of the region based on economic cooperation and trade. And in one case, Iran has even sided against a Muslim neighbor - Azerbaijan - in favor of Christian Armenia, in the ongoing dispute between those two countries. (Iran's aversion to the current regime in Azerbaijan is based on several factors, not the least of which is Azerbaijan's strong ties to Turkey and its intermittent claims to ethnic Azeri areas in northern Iran).

The fundamental difference in approach between theocratic Iran and secular Turkey is exemplified by the new security relationship Turkey has been forging with Israel. The two countries signed a landmark military cooperation agreement in February. Last week [April 15], Turkey became the first Muslim nation ever to openly play host to Israeli Air Force jets, which flew to Turkey to engage in a week of joint training exercises.

Although both countries have emphasized that the Israeli planes will not be armed or carry electronic surveillance equipment, neighboring Syria and Iran have strongly criticized the Turks for their new relationship with Israel, and have accused Israel for seeking to use Turkey as a spy-base against their countries.

Speaking during a visit to Kuwait as the Air Force training exercises began, a deputy Iranian foreign minister, Murtada Sarmadi, lashed out that it was "not to the benefit of the Islamic world that one of its member states concludes such an agreement with an enemy state."

A less public side to this newfound partnership between Israel and Turkey has already had a tremendous impact in both countries: intelligence sharing on international terrorism. The first glimpse of what appears to be a growing intelligence sharing arrangement between the countries was provided on April 7, when Israeli security officials announced they had arrested a Palestinian who had been recruited by Islamic Jihad while studying medicine in Turkey. The Israelis claimed the student, identified as 24-year old Khalil Abu Easa, confessed that he had been sent to Iran last August by Islamic Jihad to receive training in weapons and explosives use.

They apprehended Abu Easa as he arrived back in the country at Ben Gurion international airport. Officials suggested privately that they had been tipped off to Abu Easa's arrival by the Turks, and that he was headed back to the Gaza Strip to orchestrate terrorist attacks against Israel.

Like Israel, Turkey and its secular democracy have been the targets of so-called "Islamic" terrorists trained in Iran, who have brutally murdered Turkish intellectuals, politicians, and journalists over the past eleven years. In March 1994, then Istanbul police chief Necdet Menzir said in a rare interview that police investigators had "positively linked" four of the assassinations to Iranian intelligence. In addition, Iranian agents were believed to have masterminded the slaying of two Saudi diplomats posted to Ankara, in October of 1988, and October 1989.

Menzir made available the videotaped confession of a radical Turkish Islamic leader, Mehmet Ali Bilici, who not only acknowledged his involvement in some of those murders, but provided explicit details of the training he and other members of his clandestine network had received at a terrorist training camp near the Iranian holy city of Qom. As police chief Menzir put it, Turkey was "effectively under siege by Iran.

" Turkey's combination of democracy and secular rule "has made us the prime target of the fundamentalists," Menzir said. It had also made Turkey "the only country that eventually can stop them."

Earlier this year yet another Turkish Islamist hitman, Irfan Cagirici, admitted to having been trained in Iran. Among the accusations now weighing against him are the assassination of Iranian dissidents in Istanbul in 1992 and the 1990 shooting death of Turkish columnist Cetin Emec, an outspoken proponent of secular rule.

The Cagirici case is important, because he named four Iranian intelligence officers posing as diplomats at the Istanbul consulate, as the organizers of the terrorist network to which he belonged. Last month, Turkey quietly demanded that Iran withdraw the diplomats. When the Iranians refused, Turkey dispatched a senior envoy to Tehran, to lay out the details of the case. Iran retaliated by arresting four Turkish diplomats posted in western Iran on April 9, on accusations of espionage and subversive activities.

Clearly, Turkey's success in maintaining its Islamic credentials within the framework of a secular democracy poses a challenge and a threat to Iran, which has not hesitated to use terrorism against Turkey. But Iran's assault on secular Turkey also involves direct military support for Turkey's avowed enemy, the PKK.

Turkey accuses Iran of providing training and military supplies to the PKK, whose guerrillas have been steadily losing ground to Turkey's massive military campaign. Three years ago, southeastern Turkey was virtually under their control; now, say U.S. officials, "the PKK no longer has the run of the land." But they do still benefit from Iranian support and, more recently, from safe havens in Iraqi Kurdistan, where Iran has coerced local leaders to provide them refuge. Iran also maintains training camps for the PKK near Qom and at other locations inside Iran.

Turkey's ineptness in dealing with its Kurdish population has largely fed the Euro-liberals. While Turkey argues, rightly, that it is facing a terrorist challenge, it has reacted by treating large numbers of Turkish Kurds who have little sympathy for the PKK as potential enemies. This is a tragic mistake which the PKK's sophisticated public relations machine in Europe has exploited with skill.

So is Turkey's aversion to Iraqi and Iranian Kurdish groups who have abandoned the PKK's separatist agenda, in favor of winning full civil and political rights within their respective countries.

Turkey suspects that the Iraqi Kurds have forged a secret pact with the PKK, and has grown impatient with the UN sanctions on Saddam, which have taken a substantial toll on the Turkish economy. As a result, Ankara has actively opposed the emergence of a pro-Western democratic enclave in northern Iraq.

But in the end, it was the Clinton administration's acquiescence to Ankara that finally doomed the effort to build democracy in Iraq. The U.S. does no favor to Turkey by acquiescing to a bad policy. If Washington had more forcibly supported the multi-ethnic experiment underway in Iraqi Kurdistan, Ankara would have gone along, Kurdish experts here believe.

Instead, the lack of U.S. leadership and Turkey's blundering created a vacuum in northern Iraq into which Tehran has leapt. There was nothing inevitable about this, and it is a major U.S. foreign policy failure whose effects have yet to be felt. Here was a historic opportunity to sow the seeds of democracy in the Middle East, and it was missed. By all accounts, Iran now calls the shots in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Now the Iraqi Kurds - and other opposition groups as well - are turning to King Hussein as the only remaining alternative The King, whose Hashemite dynasty ruled Iraq in the 1920s, is highly respected by most Iraqis, who believe they can gain by some form of federation with Jordan that would guarantee Iraq's territorial integrity and the rights of Iraq's large minorities. (The King came to Washington last month to sell the idea of an Iraqi-Jordanian federation to the Clinton administration, although no news has filtered out on the results).

The Iraqi Kurds believe that the Turkish model of secular democracy has much to offer, and that Turkey can resolve its difficulties with its own Kurds. But Turkey needs help, and constructive criticism, to do so - not blind acquiescence, such as it has received from Washington, or the ill-intentioned attacks it has received from the PKK propaganda machine and those seeking to prevent Turkey from joining Europe.

Turkey can not only play a constructive role in northern Iraq, but it can serve as a counterweight and as an alternative to Iran throughout the region. Indeed, the Turkish "model" has already got Tehran's mullahs worried, since the success of Turkey's democracy stands in stark contrast to a theocratic dictatorship that has only maintained its hold on power by brutally suppressing all opposition.

Kenneth Timmerman is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI). FDI is a private, non-profit corporation registered in the State of Maryland. FDI materials, including the FDI News Update, are available free-of-charge via the Internet at http://www.iran.org/.

http://www.iran.org/news/WSJ_Turkey_4-96.html



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Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home

Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home
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