Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I wonder what Sibel Edmonds would say?

* last week I pointed to this reuters article about Turkey buying $3bn worth of F-16s etc from Lockheed et al. DFW also wrote about the proposed sale, including this para:
Congress has 15 days to object to the sale. If it does not, the deal can be consummated without further consultation.
Congress now has a week or so to object to the sale. What are the chances we'll hear from them?

I have no idea whether the American people are financing this particular deal the same way that the Israeli military is financed by future Americans - but given the unholy alliance that we have been documenting between Israel, Turkey and the US, I wouldn't be surprised. Historically, approximately 80% of military sales to Turkey have been paid for by the American taxpayer.

The Kurds are furious, of course, given that the F-16s have historically been used to bomb them back to the stone age, to quote Armitage (or whoever).

A PKK ceasefire was supposed to go into effect on the first of this month, but didn't last very long. My Kurdish friends tell me that it will never happen because the Turkish DeepState and the American Military Industrial Complex are scared of peace. That wouldn't surprise me. Peace isn't very profitable.

Erdogan is meeting Bush this week in DC, last week, The Economist reported:
In Washington, Turkey's threats to carry its battle against Kurdish PKK fighters into northern Iraq are also concentrating official minds. Turkey has long demanded that America fulfil its pledges to act against some 5,000 PKK fighters based in the Kurdish-controlled enclave. The Americans cannot open a second front when their forces are stretched in the rest of Iraq. But they won't let Turkey do the job, because such an intervention would destabilise the only peaceful part of the country.

The Americans' stance is the biggest source of their new unpopularity in Turkey. With every new casualty at the PKK's hands, pressure increases on the government to pursue the rebels into Iraq. Should they do it, they may find themselves fighting not only the Kurds, but the Americans as well. Turkey's EU ambitions, once the best guarantee against any such intervention, can no longer be counted on.


On the American side the big reforms in Turkey, spurred mainly by Brussels, are starting to sink in. “For many years, this relationship [was conducted] between security elites”, observed Eric Edelman, now the number three in the Pentagon, and formerly America's ambassador in Ankara, adding, in an interview with a Turkish newspaper, Radikal, that “now, with a more democratic Turkey, you have to deal not just with elites but also with a broader public opinion.”

To demonstrate goodwill, the Bush administration has appointed a retired general, Joseph Ralston, as its “PKK co-ordinator”. But the general's role remains vague, and his assertion that military action against the rebels was “the last option” has not helped. “Most Turks see Ralston as window-dressing, as an attempt to buy time,” says Omer Taspinar, of the Brookings Institution. After three decades of fighting the rebels, many Turkish officials privately concede that they cannot win by military means alone. An amnesty that would allow PKK fighters to return home without risking prosecution would do much to help. So would lowering the 10% threshold for parliamentary seats that has kept out nationalist Kurds so far. The lack of representation has created a vacuum that is being filled by Islamic radicals in the mainly Kurdish provinces."
Eric Edelman is wrapped up in Sibel's story, not surprisingly, having been an ambassador to Turkey (see here, here and here) - after his stint in Turkey, he was recess appointed into Feith's position as the number 3 in the Pentagon. He was originally in Cheney's office.

Joseph Ralston is also a 'curious' choice to be “PKK co-ordinator” - and he has a 'vague' role according to The Economist. From Wikipedia:
"Joseph W. Ralston was a general of the United States Air Force. According to several sources it was Ralston who, acting on instructions from the Clinton Administration, warned the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI) who, in turn, warned al Qaeda of an impending cruise missile strike on August 20, 1998 allowing Usama bin Laden to escape."
Ralston is a vice-chairman at The Cohen Group with Marc Grossman. The Cohen Group is heavily implicated in the Sibel affair, and is one of the primary players in all things ATC. Ralston also happens to be on the board at Lockheed Martin.

Mizgîn at Rastibini (who has been doing great work on this story) writes:
With this in mind, you should ask yourself what, exactly, General Ralston is coordinating. We all know the real deal, don't we? We all know who have been the targets of those F-16's in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.
Mizgîn also writes via email:
So what is it that Ralston is actually "coordinating" in Ankara? Is this why there is a rejection of the PKK ceasefire, for the sake of corporate profits? Do we believe that the American administration was totally unaware of Ralston's current status as a board member of Lockheed Martin when it appointed him as "PKK coordinator" to Turkey?

How could the administration be unaware of Ralston's position? And the media always refers to Ralston as a former general, never as an executive member of a major American defense contractor. It all spells "Conflict of Interest" in big, neon letters.
Mizgîn has a point. Or two. or three.

There's one interesting thing that Mizgîn notes - among all of Grossman's other interests, he has taken a job for a dodgy Turkish company called Ihlas Holding earning $1.2m per annum:
"The odd thing is that when I checked around for this news in English, I couldn't find a thing about it. Not a single, English word on it. Why is that? What are they trying to hide?

I wonder about it because you would think that becoming a consultant for one of Turkey's largest business concerns would be something for Grossman to crow about, especially given that he's a vice-chairman of The Cohen Group, which is nothing but a bunch of former generals, diplomats, and assorted bureaucrats who advise businesses in the global market and fix problems for them. . . kind of like an American version of ASAM (see yesterday's post for more on ASAM).

After all, The Cohen Group's chairman and CEO, former Defense Secretary William Cohen, took the time to publicly acknowledge his other vice-chairman's appointment as the US "special envoy" to advise Turkey on the PKK. Yeah, I'm talking about Joe Ralston.
But Grossman never got the same public pat-on-the-back from the boss over his job with Ihlas. Isn't this another feather in his cap? Isn't this another illustrious notation on his resume? He's not even blowing his own horn about it.
Isn't it fascinating about all the good dirt that never makes it into the American media? Again, why is that?

I wonder what Sibel Edmonds would say?"
Great work, Mizgîn. Check out his her site.

(updated to reflect Mizgîn's actual gender! apologies)

update, from a new article by Mizgîn:
" The rejection of a political settlement was echoed by the US PKK coordinator, Joseph Ralston, in Ankara:
“Days before the declaration of the truce, the United States publicly said that a PKK cease-fire would have little value and that the terrorist group instead should lay down its arms and renounce violence. 'Cease-fire sort of implies an act that is taken between two states, two actors, to do that. And I don't want to confer that kind of status on the PKK by saying a cease-fire,' Joseph Ralston, the newly appointed U.S. special envoy for countering the PKK, said here last Wednesday.”"


Anonymous said...

Turkish Daily News, July 27, 2006:

Deal between neocon and Ihlas baron:

Sabah's Ergun Babahan yesterday wrote about the recent sale of the TGRT TV station, which was owned by Islamic-leaning Ihlas Holding, to worldwide media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Babahan said the sale proves the Turkish proverb of, "Money has no religion." A Turkish tycoon who is known to promote an Islamic identity of Turkey sold his TV station to a man who has recently been the most ardent defender of the Christian identity.

For Babahan, Murdoch is no ordinary media boss. Rather, he is a most fervent disciple of the policies of America's New Right and Israel. His Fox TV is known for broadcasting policy so biased and sided that it makes anyone fill with shame, according to Babahan.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is furious with Israel's policy against Lebanon and Palestine, recalls Babahan, has met with "this Murdoch" a number of times. "An irony of fate," says Babahan of Murdoch purchasing an Islamist TV station in Turkey while his own station broadcasts programs hailing Israeli massacres, as according to the Sabah columnist.

Ihlas Holding owner Enver Oren, given his financial difficulties, understandably cannot think of Israel, Palestine or "religious brotherhood" at the moment. Babahan gives the following description of Murdoch using data taken from the weekly Businessweek: The 72-year-old media mogul has TV stations broadcasting in five continents and publishes 175 newspapers. He at the same time is the owner of the Twentieth Century Fox Studios, Fox Network and 35 U.S. national channels, accounting for 40 percent of the American media market. Babahan also points out that Murdoch uses this grand power to support right-wing ideology, even though Murdoch himself dismisses claims that he specifically uses the media to this end. Publications owned by Murdoch were the most passionate supporters of U.S. occupation in Iraq, recalls Babahan.

Babahan says, although Murdoch in general supports right-wing and oppressive regimes and speaks proudly of his anti-communist stance, he hasn't refrained from cooperating with communists when he deemed it necessary. Murdoch stopped the former governor of Hong Kong from publishing his memoirs because the publication would have put Murdoch's publishing rights in China at risk. He understated the importance of the massacre at Tiananmen Square, he closed his eyes to human rights violations through his publications, and now "this Mr. Murdoch" is in Turkey. Babahan sarcastically concludes by saying he hopes that a lot of goodwill comes out of Murdoch's entry, which is a Turkish phrase used by Islamist people.

Mizgîn said...

Thank you for the post, Lukery, and don't worry about the gender thing.

There's something else to add on the purchase of TGRT from Ihlas. Someone else went in with Murdoch on the purchase--Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, from Hurriyet:

Praise lavished on PM Erdogan at iftar dinner in New York

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the US for an official visit, broke his Ramazan fast at an "iftar" dinner two nights ago hosted by the founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun. The traditional iftar was held at New York's famous Carlyle Hotel, and among the guests were former New York Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, as well as former World Bank president James Wolfensohn, and film actor Robert DeNiro.

Accompanying PM Erdogan in the Turkish delegation at the meal was Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and his wife, Hayrunisa Gul, as well as PM Erdogan's wife, Emine Erdogan, and their daughter Sumeyye Erdogan.

Speaking after the iftar dinner, Atlantic Records owner Ertegun expressed lavish praise for PM Erdogan's performance over the past few years, saying:

"I am not an AKP supporter, but over the past 4 years, Erdogan has carried out truly good business. The economic development in Turkey, the reforms in important areas of life, the new laws in regards to citizenship and human rights: these are all Erdogan's doings."

More from Hurriyet:

Atlantic Records owner Ertegun: Erdogan spoke well, despite jet lag

Atlantic Records owner Ahmet Ertegun had words of praise for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan following a successful iftar dinner hosted by Ertegun for Erdogan, who had newly arrived in New York for a quick official visit to the US. Speaking about how Ramazan affected his plans for hosting the PM, Ertegun explained:

"The Prime Minister is someone I really like. When he told me he wanted to meet on his visit to New York, I decided to host an iftar dinner for him, knowing he was fasting.....But I had hardly any time to prepare for it. I had wanted to have New York Senator Hilary Clinton as a guest, but she had another engagement which she had committed to, as had Senator John Cain. Luckily, my friend, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was able to make it, right on the tail of a visit to Iceland."

Ertegun said that he was very pleased with the iftar dinner two days ago, which had included columnist Frank Rich from the New York Times, former World Bank head James Wolfensohn, and film star Robert DeNiro. Said Ertegun, "Despite the fact that Erdogan was very tired from his journey, he made a wonderful speech which touched all of the guests. As a Turk, I was proud. But rather than Erdogan coming here, what really should have happened is that President Bush should have gone to Turkey."

Blah, blah, blah, who gives a damn, Ertegun?

So, it looks like this Ertegun is an Islamist (i.e. Fethullaci),and I'm willing to bet that he's one of the "messengers" for Fethullah Gulen, who lives a short 85 miles from NYC in Saylorsburg, PA. Do not count the Gulen Gang out of the Deep State picture; they are no different than the pashas, for all practical purposes.

Ertegun is definitely someone to watch, because . . . (drumroll) Atlantic Records is an Aegean member of the ATC.

Geez, what a shock.

At any rate, this Ertegun bears watching.

lukery said...

thnx Mizgîn.

i always wondered why Atlantic Records was there with the other cronies at the ATC. Now I know!

FTR - Sibel goes out of her way to note that Erdogan isn't involved with any of her stuff.

lukery said...

and thnx anon