Turkish planes carried out the first air attacks on Kurdish rebels based in the mountainous regions of Iraq. After the bombing, Turkish artillery opened fire on the area which had just been bombed. According to local Iraq officials, about ten villages were bombed and several civilians killed or wounded. They claim Kurdish rebels were miles away from the target. Turkish planes also dropped leaflets urging members of the Kurdish Workers Party(PKK) to surrender and seek an amnesty. An amnesty law was adopted in 2003 under Article 221 of the penal code which promises no punishment to Kurds who surrender provided they did not take part in military action against Turkish forces. An intelligence officer told the Turkish newspaper, Zaman, that among those who surrendered about one-third were Kurds who simply hoped they could get a better job by pretending to fit the qualification for amnesty.
Bombing villages in mountainous areas rarely leads to anything other than fostering hatred among innocent civilians. This policy has never worked and certainly has proved ineffective in Afghanistan. The concept of an amnesty makes sense, but it must include those who did take part in military action. To only grant amnesty to people who were not involved in armed attacks will not result in encouraging militants to surrender. There also has to be an active program of providing jobs and other benefits if Turkey is to get those in the mountains to come down and become active participants in ordinary life.
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, Turkey, War, World News
Tagged air strikes, Kurdish rebels, Turkey, Turkey amnesty
A recurring problem for NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan is there continual failure to distinguish between friendly and unfriendly forces in the nation. NAT) planes on the search for the Taliban, blasted a target that contained people engaged in an American work project. After the bombing ceased, 14 Afghans were dead. According to Sayed Jalili, director of the Kabul-basec construction company, “I don’t think the Americans were targeting our people. I’m sure it’s the enemy of the Afghan who gave the Americans the wrong information.” This has been the deadliest year for the Afghan people since being liberated from the Taliban with 6,000 people killed, including over 800 civilians. NATO command sources insisted they were bombing enemy forces, but admitted, “the situation is not clear at all at this stage. We are carrying out the investigation and trying to get a clear picture.” War is confusing and rarely tidy. Combat operations usually entail a degree of ambiguity, but NATO forces have repeatedly killed innocent people and, in so doing, caused great stress among Afghan leaders who really want to cooperate with their allies, but not at the price of their own people.
The bottom line is that NATO and foreign troops in Afghanistan have come under scathing criticism since the beginning of the year for carrying out air strikes based on poor intelligence that have resulted in the death of many civilians. Perhaps, it is time to re-evaluate the use of so many air attacks.
Posted in Europe, Human Rights, Iraq War, Military, Multicultural, Politics, War, World News
Tagged , Afghanistan, air strikes, NATO
Rumors are swirling around Washington D.C. of secret plans by the vice president to get America embroiled in a war against Iran. Cheney has been examining potential strategies which would be used in attacking Iran’s nuclear development. One report being heard is Israel would launch an air attack on the Iranian nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz which most probably would result in an Iranian response. According to those close to Cheney, he believes such an Iranian response would enable the United States to launch massive air attacks claiming Iran had begun the war. there is speculation the September 6, 2007 Israel attack on a Syrian “nuclear facility” was a test run for this plan. Neither Israel nor the Bush administration has openly acknowledged there was such an attack.
Military officials repeatedly have warned such an attack would result in economic, political, and psychological chaos in the world. As thousands of Iranian and Hezbollah rockets and missiles reign down on Israel it would end any possibility of resolving the Palestinian-israel conflict. Iran would attempt to block oil shipments from the Arabian peninsula creating even more chaos. Thousands of suicide bombers would flow into the Middle East creating even more turmoil. The Egyptian government would come under great pressure from its Muslim fundamentalists to do something while General Musharraf in Pakistan might even face a military overthrow of his government by incensed Islamic officers. President Bush continually accuses Iran of seeking to create WWIII, but an attack on Iran would result in global warfare.
Mitt Romney, a candidate for the presidency was asked his reaction to attacking Iran without congressional approval and he indicated the need to study whether or not a president can initiate war without consent of Congress. One would assume he has at least once in his life actually read the Constitution. It states under powers of the legislature: “To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning capture on land and water.”
Posted in Democrats, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Iran, Iraq War, Liberals, Military, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged air strikes, Cheney, congress powers, Iran, Israel, WWIII