February 3, 2016

Is Turkey Capable of Committing Another Genocide In This Century With ISIS As Its Ally?

With the madman and Caliph wannabe Erdogan at the helm, nothing is off the table.

An excerpt from a speech by Dr. Rashid Khalidi, "Unhealed Wounds of WWI: Armenia, Kurdistan and Palestine," March 9, 2015, American University of Beirut:
"Let me conclude with one more common characteristic of all three of these peoples that I have described as the great losers of WWI. All of them suffer not only from the consequences of the specific, traumatic events that I traced, that are rooted in WWI and its sequels, they suffer as well from something that has caused these wounds to remain raw. This is the impact on all three peoples of systematic denial of what has been done to them, combined with systematic efforts at erasure of these peoples from history.

So they did not just suffer betrayal and abandonment. They did not just suffer, in the case of the Armenians, genocide, or in the case of Palestinians, ethnic cleansing, in the case of all of them, various traumatic events. They have also suffered from denial that anything of this happened by the powers that be, and efforts to erase their existence from history. Armenians, Kurds, and Palestinians have thus been victims not only of specific material indignities, wide-scale massacres, organized ethnic cleansing, displacements, and so on.

The effects of all of these hurts has been amplified and has been made to resonate generation after generation, we're now five generations from these events, by the denial of several of the powerful states that dominate the world and that dominate the Middle East for most of the past century, notably Turkey, Iraq, and Israel, and by their great power backers, that these things even happened. Denial of the genocide perpetuated against the Armenians, and of the cruelties inflicted on the Kurds, of the Nakba suffered by the Palestinians, has in fact become a high art. There are denialists of the highest order. In some countries, such as Turkey, even mentioning such things can lead to legal sanction. And there are places where events that try to describe the Nakba would be shut down because they're seen as anti-Semitic or otherwise untrue and dangerous to discuss. Adding insult to injury, the testimony of the victims, of the survivors, of the refugees, of all of these traumas, has been largely ignored as history has been written, mainly, by the victors.

Worse, if worse was possible, all of these peoples, all three of them, have been told at different times that they do not exist, or they should not exist. The Kurds were told in the early days of the Republic of Turkey that there was no such thing as Kurds, they were mountain Turks, everybody is a Turk, Kurds are Turks. They were forbidden to teach their own language, and otherwise were told that they did not exist. The links of the Armenians to most of their ancestral homelands were downplayed, monuments were destroyed, and linkages were ruptured. The very existence of the Palestinians, as we know, was also denied. This was most famously expressed in 1969 by Golda Meir, who scoffed 'there's no such thing as a Palestinian people, it's not as if we came along and threw them out of their country, they didn't exist.'

Beyond this, it is the primary victims of all these of sets of events who have been blamed, as the losers have been scapegoated by the victors. The victors have done this mainly by successfully deploying the broad brush of terrorism. In the framing of such matters, of course certain states never engage in terrorism, whether they're killing innocent civilians by using phosphorous, or poison gas, or drones, or any other means of mass destruction. By a consensus of the powerful, the term terrorism is exclusively restricted to non-state actors who commit violence against civilians. State actors who commit massive violence against civilians under these rules are not terrorists.

As a result, entire peoples can be condemned and treated as pariahs, can be effectively excluded from the human community, and subject to any form of inhuman treatment if the terrorist label can successfully be attached to them. This has been done repeatedly in all three of these cases." [37:47 - 42:20].
An excerpt from, "Syrian Civil War: Could Turkey be Gambling on an Invasion?" by Patrick Cockburn, The Indpenendent, January 30, 2016:
Developments in the next few months may determine who are the long-term winners and losers in the region for decades. President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are advancing on several fronts under a Russian air umbrella. The five-year campaign by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s to overthrow Assad in Damascus, by backing the armed opposition, looks to be close to defeat.

Turkey could respond to this by accepting a fait accompli, conceding that it would be difficult for it to send its army into northern Syria in the face of strong objections from the US and Russia. But, if the alternative is failure and humiliation, then it may do just that. Gerard Chaliand, the French expert on irregular warfare and the politics of the Middle East, speaking in Erbil last week, said that “without Erdogan as leader, I would say the Turks would not intervene militarily [in northern Syria], but, since he is, I think they will do so”.
An excerpt from, "Turkey and Crushing Free Speech based on Fear: Megalomania of President Erdogan" by Nuray Lydia Oglu, Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker, Modern Tokyo Times, January 27, 2016: 
The serious threat of Can Dundar and Erdem Gul serving an extremely long time in prison is extremely serious. Yet, given the megalomania of Erdogan – and the ruling party in this nation – then clearly the current trial of Can Dundar and Erdem Gul is aimed at the bigger picture. In other words, academics, journalists, writers, human rights groups – and so forth – are being warned that free speech will not be tolerated if it challenges the ruling political party or “the supreme leader” Erdogan.

Therefore, it is essential that the European Union, NATO and the United States openly start to put pressure on Erdogan because the shadows are darkening in Turkey under his leadership. Equally, for genuine democrats within the ruling party then it is high time for them to stop towing the “Erdogan authoritarian party line.”