George Bush has continually claimed the United States invaded Iraq in order to bring the benefits of democracy, but present day Iraq continues to abuse the rights of women, and in a recent case, the right of freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders, which protects journalism freedom, has called for the release of a freelance journalist who was jailed in northern Iraq for the crime of writing a story about homosexuality. Abdel Hussein was sentenced on November 24 to six months in jail and ordered to pay a $165 fine for writing an article that discusses the meaning of homosexuality. The international monitoring group stated it was “astonished to learn that a press case has been tried under a criminal code. What was the point of adopting– and then liberalising — a press code in the Kurdistan region if people who contribute to the news media are still being tried under more repressive laws?”
The reporter was tried under provisions of a 1969 penal code. The present law requires a representative of the journalist organization must attend trials involving journalists, but none was allowed in the court.
Such is life in “free Iraq” which celebrates democracy.
American and Turkish officials failed to reach an agreement as to when Turkey’s armed forces will be departing from Iraq. Yesterday, President Bush told a press conference, “Turkish troops sh ould withdraw from northern Iraq as soon as possible” while Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Turkish officials in Anakara, “the U.S. believes the current offensive should be as short and precisely targeted as possible.” Turkish Chief of Staff Generl Yasar Buyukanit told Gates, “short term is a relative notion. Sometimes it is a day, sometimes a year.” He pointed out Turkey has been struggling with terrorism for 24 years and noted America has been in Afghanistan for six years.
Prime Minister Erdfogan insists “Turkish soldiers will be returning after achieving their goals” but will not pinpoint the exact time when that task will have been accomplished. On one hand, Gates accepts the complexity of the situation, on the other hand, the United States is protecting the integrity of the Iraqi government. Unfortunately, the two might not coincide in terms of a timetable for withdrawal.
Once again, the Bush administration is living with unintended and unexpected consequences of the ill fated invasion of Iraq. Most experts knew from day one of Bush’s actions to get rid of Saddam Hussein that an important result would be creation of a confusing situation in Kurdistan. Neither Bush, Cheney, nor Rumsfeld had any grasp as to what they were doing in terms of Turkey’s concern over creation of an independent Kurdistan state. Of course, neither did right wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh and the others who still insist the Iraq operation was the right move.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Peace, Politics, Turkey, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Gates, Kurdistan, PKK, Turkish invasion
A veteran Turkish diplomat who led his nation’s delegation in discussing possible entry into the Iraq war on the side of the United States believes failure to do so prevented dealing with Kurdish rebels. Ambassador Deniz Boiukasi said Turkey’s parliament in March, 2003, narrowly rejected a government motion to militarily cooperate with the US invasion of Iraq. He points out in a new book that if Turkey had participated in the invasion, their troops would have occupied areas of Kurdistan now under the control of Kurdish rebels. According to Bouikbasi, for some reason the military remained silent during the debate, and, if they had spoken out, Turkey would have joined in the Iraq war and thus gained control over areas of Kurdistan in which Kurdish militants now use as bases of operation.
The former diplomat raises some interesting, “what if” questions, but he does ignore how becoming part of the Iraq war would also have plunged his nation into a conflict that drags on and on and most probably would have led to suicide attacks in Turkish cities.
Posted in Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, George Bush, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, Turkey, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Iraq War, Kurdistan, militants, Turkey
Turkey’s Chief of General Staff. Genral Yagar Buyukanit, said the army was ready to proceed with operations in Kurdistan and is awaiting final authorization from the government. He referred to the recent meeting in Washington D.C. between Prime Minister Erdogan and President Bush as merely a temporary delay which has allowed the armed forces to intensify intelligence activities prior to an armed attack. Bush had talked about Turkey using “surgical operations” but General Buyukanit responded to a question by saying, “surgical operation or not, I cannot say.” He also emphasized, “We are a great state and we do not need approval from anyone. However, there is a different situation in Iraq and the is a must to have the coordination with the Americans in order to avoid friendly fie.” He said it was of no importance to him if politicians met, but the Turkish army must be on guard to protect the nation.
There apparently is a void between what Bush and Erdogan agreed would happen and what the Turkish military believes must occur. Just another example of how the Bush approach to foreign policy always leaves gaps of knowledge.
Posted in Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Turkey, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Erdogan, Kurdistan, military action, Turkish general