MARK THE CALENDARS! THE PRESS FINALLY, FOR A MOMENT, REPORTED SOME TRUTH ABOUT CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O!
JULIE MASON (POLITICO) REPORTS: "OBAMA SOUNDED TIRED -- GIVING THE SAME SPEECH HE'S DELIVERED MULTIPLE TIMES IN SEVERAL LOCATIONS, THE VIM IN CHESTERFIELD JUST WASN'T THERE."
BUT EVEN THE SIMPLEST OBSERVATION IS TOO MUCH FOR THE WHITE HOUSE. LADY IN WAITING JAY CARNEY STOPPED SHAVING HIS PUBES LONG ENOUGH TO FIRE OFF AN E-MAIL 'CORRECTING' THE REPORTER AND INSISTING THAT BARRY O WASN'T TIRED AT ALL.
SOME DAY, JAY CARNEY WILL HAVE TO RETURN TO THE REAL WORLD AND HE'LL STILL BE A PUNK ASS BITCH. PRAY FOR HIS CHILDREN, PRAY.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Turkey continues attacking northern Iraq and, for years now, Turkish war planes have been bombing northern Iraq. The latest wave of attacks started August 17th. This morning Aswat al-Iraq reported, "Kurdish Workers Party announced today that the Turkish forces continued their military concentration on the northern Iraqi borders with Turkey. The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the Turkish forces have been gathering ranks since yesterday." Daniel Dombey and Funja Guler (Financial Times of London) notes, "Turkey has vowed to wreak 'great revenge' on Kurdish militants for the deaths of 26 policemen and soldiers on Wednesday as tension increases in both the south-east of the country and neighbouring northern Iraq." Citing Turkish military sources, Reuters reported that Turkish planes are bombing nothern Iraq and that Turkish helicopters are depositing "Turkish commandos" in Iraq. PRI's The World offers footage of Turkish forces entering Iraq. Sebnem Arsu (New York Times) adds, "NTV, a private television network, said 600 Turkish ground troops chasing the attackers pushed 2.5 miles into northern Iraq".
Marc Champion (Wall St. Journal) reports, "Some 200 PKK fighters attacked military posts in Hakkari province, near the Turkish borders with Iraq and Iran, said a PKK spokesman, contacted by phone in northern Iraq. The attacks began at 1 a.m. and ended around 5 a.m. after fierce gun battles, some of which were captured on video by Turkey's Dogan News Agency." Sahar Issa and Ipek Yezdani (McClatchy Newspapers) report, "Iraqi government officials raised no immediate objection to the Turkish incursion, and Turkish officials promised tougher action aimed at the Kurdish Worker's party (PKK) rebels." Seyhmus Cakan (Reuters) offers, "Yet as winter snows approach, many doubt the second-biggest military in NATO can rout some 4,000 PKK fighters dug in at camps in Iraq, not least while Iraqi Kurds' own seasoned foreign guerrilla forces retain their ambivalance between solidarity with ethnic kin and building trade with a powerful neighbor." Kelly McEvers is back in Iraq and files a report for NPR's All Things Considered. (I'm sure it's wonderful, I haven't listened to it yet. An NPR friend asked for the link. Good to know Kelly' McEvers is back in Baghdad. Hopefully NPR can provide her with air time. I'll most lilkely note the report in tomorrow's snapshot in some manner.)
BBC News quotes Tukey's President Abdullah Gul swearing, "No-one should forget that those who make us suffer this pain will be made to suffer even stronger. They will see that the vengeance for these attacks will be great." I think the Kurds of Turkey are very familiar with what the government's vengeance looks like -- having lived under it for years. Dan Zak (Washington Post) quotes PKK leader Duzdan Hammo stating, "Turkish forces have provoked our fighters to conduct attacks. There is still a lot of heavy shelling on the border." Zak also notes KRG President Massoud Barzani issued a statement -- we'll quote that in full:
At a time when efforts are being made to find peaceful solutions to the Kurdish question in Turkey, it's very unfortunate that today 24 members of the Turkish forces were killed by an armed group in the Hakari area. We strongly condemn this criminal act and publicly state that this action is first and foremost against the interests of the people of Kurdistan. We call for an immediate end to these attacks and we reiterate our position that violence and conflict are not a solution.
That was one of many statements issued on the matter. Today's Zaman notes, "Ria Oomen-Ruijten, European Parliament's rapporteur on Turkey, has said every country had a right to defend itself and its citizens as she commented on Turkey's incursion in northern Iraq following the latest attack by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that killed 24 troops and injured 18 others." Deutsche Welle adds, "Support for Turkey has poured in from the international community" and notes, among others, Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and US President Barack Obama. France's Foreign Affairs Ministry issued the following:
France condemns, with the utmost severity, the attacks made by the PKK terrorist movement on military posts in South East Turkey.These caused the death of 26 Turkish soldiers, with at least further 18 wounded. This was in addition to the attacks in Bitlis the previous day, with 8 dead. France expresses her fullest soldiarity with the Turkish authorities and her deepest sympathy for the families of the victims in this time of grief. The terrorist attacks of the last few days only strengthen the determination of France to stand alongside Turkey in fighting against terrorism -- and in supporting its efforts to achieve a political solution to the Kurdish question. France reiterates her appeal to the elected representatives of the Turkish populations of Kurdish origin, to clearly establish their distance from PKK terrorist violence.
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent attacks by the PKK in Turkey's Hakkari province. I join President Obama in offering our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed and injured in this tragedy. We will continue our strong cooperation with Turkey as we work to combat violent extremism in all its forms and safeguard the security of peace-loving people everywhere.
If you're thinking that and other outpourings of sympathy meant a damn thing to the Turkish government, think again. Deutsche Welle reports that the government responded to the statements by blaming Europe (yet again, as DW notes) and declaring "true friendship cannot be measured solely by sincerity, and now we expect more than ever from our friends. EU member states can no longer accept the PKK's terror without doing anything about it." It's everyone's fault, proclaims the Turkish government -- the same government that refuses to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
1.5 million Armenians killed because they were Armenian, targeted solely for that reason, and the Turkish government denies it to this day. Back in March of 2009, Sabrina Tavernise (New York Times) reported: "According to a long-hidden document that belonged to the interior minister of the Ottoman Empire, 972,000 Ottoman Armenians disappeared from official population records from 1915 through 1916. In Turkey, any discussion of what happened to the Ottoman Armenians can bring a storm of public outrage. But since its publication in a book in January, the number -- and its Ottoman source -- has gone virtually unmentioned. Newspapers hardly wrote about it. Television shows have not discussed it." And although that was back in WWI, never forget how the current government responds to the genocide. Not just by denial but with modern day threats. BBC News reported last year that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was threatening to throw 100,000 Amenians out of Turkey and making insulting comments leading the Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian to declare, "These kinds of political statements do not help to improve relations between our two states. When the Turkish prime minister allows himself to make such statements it immediately for us brings up memories of the events of 1915." Damien McElroy (Telegraph of London) quoted Armenian MP Hrayr Karapetyan declaring, "The statement once again proves that there is an Armenian genocide threat in present Turkey, thus world community should pressurise Ankara to recognise [the] genocide." Possibly if Erdogan and the current government could stop living in denial and threatening other governments over a very real genocide nearly 100 years ago, they could also learn to reach out to other communities the Turkish government has persecuted through the years? That might be the only thing that would ensure peace for the country. If you doubt that the attitude is part of the problem, refer to this analysis by Deutsche Welle of how a 2009 peace quickly fell apart. From an academic standpoint, the PKK has nothing and therefore no reason to cease and desist. The Kurds -- which is more than PKK members -- are the largest minority without a homeland. The persecution by the Turkish government created the PKK and the recent decision that Kurds in Turkey could have the 'right' to speak Kurdish (in some areas and public places) and that they could have a TV station that broadcasts in Kurdish is less than scraps. In addition, promising other things and then going back on them (such as refusing to seat elected members of Parliament) only further fuels the sense of being persecuted. The Turkish government has and has always had the power to recognize and treat fairly the Kurds. They've refused to do so. They are alarmed now by the number of Kurds in Turkey.
While too many in the press cluck, Seyhmus Cakan (Reuters) goes in search of the story and speaks to a number of people in Turkey including a Kurd named Hulya Yildiz:
The use of Kurdish, the mother tongue for up 15 million Kurds in Turkey, is banned at her children's school. Scores of Kurdish activists and mayors have been arrested in recent security crackdowns. Army operations and Kurdish guerrilla attacks make even a family picnic in the woods too dangerous.
"I would like to live in a city where we could take our kids to picnics on weekends. We don't have that freedom because we don't know if a bomb will explode or if there will be clashes," said Yildiz, a civil servant in the Kurdish city of Tunceli.
She was speaking days before Turkey launched air and ground assaults on Kurdish militants in Iraq in retaliation for the killing on Wednesday of 24 Turkish soldiers in one of the deadliest Kurdish attacks in decades.
"If a family is afraid to take their kids to picnics you can'tt talk about democracy," she said. "The prime minister (Tayyip Erdogan) has travelled to all problematic countries during this year, but he should come here and listen to his people's demands. Why can't we have a 'spring' like the Arabs?"
Instead of grand standing on 'terrorism,' Barack, Hillary and the rest of the US government should be explaining that this is how governments are toppled and that if Turkey wants to have a future, it will work to bring the Kurds into the process fully. The alternative is endless war and for proof of that look no further than Israel which is now a teetering nation-state as a result of its refusal to come to terms with what was a minority population but is now a fastly growing one. It's a real shame that people who could be weighing in on this issue would rather gas bag. I'm thinking specifically of Theda Skocpol whose "France, Russia, China: A Structural Analysis of Social Revolutions" (Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol 18, 1976, Cambridge Press) and "Revolutions and the World-Historical Developmen of Capitalism" (co-written with Ellen Kay Trimberger, Berkeley Journal of Sociology, vol 22,, 1978) are pertinent to the what's taking place. But instead of providing insight on that, Theda can be found nearly each day offering trite and banal gas baggery about the Democratic Party for POLITICO's Arena forum. Talk about bastardizing your craft.
Recommended: "Iraq snapshot"