Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rumsfeld apologizes, to Turkey

dqueue said...

When's the last time Rummy apologized for anything?

dqueue points to TPMM:
Rumsfeld Apologizes (But Not to You)

Yesterday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld apologized. Not for rudely telling Americans to "back off" in their criticism of his lousy performance; not for going to war in Iraq without adequately planning for stabilizing the country; not for running the U.S. armed forces into the ground; not even for infecting Bartlett's with inanities about "unknown unknowns."

Donald Rumsfeld didn't even apologize to America. He apologized to Turkey.

Last month at a NATO training seminar in Rome, a U.S. lieutenant colonel showed his audience a map displaying a "Free Kurdistan" where parts of Turkey are today. That's kind of a painful idea for Turks, who like their country the way it is. Several Turkish officers stalked out of the event. Back home in Turkey, the incident re-ignited fear that the United States secretly harbored plans to carve up the country -- an abiding worry due to the U.S.'s close diplomatic relationship with the Iraqi Kurds.

You see, Turks were already on edge about this "secret plan." In June, the Armed Forces Journal -- a non-government publication -- published an article by retired Marine Lt. Col. Ralph Peters that featured a very similar map. Titled, "Blood Borders," the piece imagined the geography of the Middle East if colonial powers hadn't created artificial boundaries in the earlier part of the century.

I spoke with Peters today by phone. He was, perhaps ironically, unapologetic. "The fact these societies have descended into self-destructed paranoia isn't my problem," he told me. "I have no regrets about writing it, and I would do it again."

Besides, Peters grumbled, "anything that makes Donald Rumsfeld's day more unpleasant is a good thing."

paging mizgin...


Anonymous said...

Mr Peters that stirring idea hope it was worth it for you.

great timing for both US and Turkey relations.

not even worth of discussion of you. obviously not a bright person you are


Mizgîn said...

I remember the Ralph Peters article from the time it first came out. I commented on it then.

I have watched Ralph Peters for some time. He's always been pro-Bashuri (Southern) Kurd, but his AFJ article was the first time that I'd seen him say that the world needed to acknowledge that Turkish-occupied Kurdistan (N. Kurdistan) was, well, occupied territory. I hope the weight of all the human rights reports on Turkey from the 1990s and early 2000's are bearing down.

As for Rumsfeld, what do you expect? As one of America's best defense industry clients, he has to keep Turkey happy. Priorities, Lukery, priorities.

The problem is that if Kurds remain deprived of all rights, Turks also remain deprived of all rights . . . something that's difficult to get through their hard heads. Really, though, they are thoroughly brainwashed. It starts at home, because the parents were schooled in fascism; it's reinforced in a school system that's steeped in fascism; and it's further reinforced by a media that is used as the official dispenser of fascism. The brainwashing is perpetuated in this cycle.

lukery said...

mizgin: "The problem is that if Kurds remain deprived of all rights, Turks also remain deprived of all rights . . . something that's difficult to get through their hard heads."

hmmm - imagine if people negotiated, in good faith, with mutual respect, rather than fight wars.

sigh. a lad can hope.