Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 27, 2006

PKK is not Hezbollah
Ardalan Hardi

Turkey says that Israel's recent action in Lebanon to stop Hezbollah attacks means that Turkey should be allowed to take similar steps against Kurdish guerrillas operating from northern Iraq against Turkish forces", reported The Daily Telegraph.
First of all the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Hezbollah’s ideologies are a world apart. Hezbollah is a neo-Islamic fascism movement that promotes a close-minded fanatic ideology that is not only a threat to Israel but also to the Muslim religion and the world. PKK is working for a democratic change within Turkey in order to free an oppressed voice of the Kurdish people in northern Kurdistan.
Second, while Hezbollah has its own government and army free from Israel and chooses to continually attack civilian targets in and outside Israel, PKK does not go outside Turkey and targets only military installations within Turkey. Third, unlike Hezbollah that refuses to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist – which closes the door on dialog – the PKK, and all political parties in northern Kurdistan, have never once denied Turkish states of existence. Kurds have always welcomed dialog for a peaceful resolution to Kurdish issues. This comparison of PKK to Hezbollah is idiotic. Ankara has continually refused pleas from friends and foes to allow dialog to take place with Kurdish people. Instead, it uses military force as a tool of choice to silence any hint of Kurdish nationalism.
When do people learn that all the guerrilla tactics from PKK and all the military force used by Turkish state will not stop the bloodshed? In fact, it prolongs the malaise of death and destruction? How could we solve our differences if we refuse to talk about them? How could we talk if we refuse to have dialog with those we disagree with? With this form of diabolical, close-minded thinking, how can we expect peaceful resolution to our differences?
When we look at Hezbollah’s refusal of Israel’s state of existence, the Muslim fanatic’s refusal of western ideologies, and the Turkish refusal of the Kurdish problem, we see what creates never-ending wars. No peace will ever come between two different ideologies that pursue humanism unless they are willing to understand, accept – and respect – each others views, opinions and existence. We do not have to agree on everything, but like the old saying we should “agree to disagree”. Until we reach that conclusion as human beings, atrocities and bloodshed will continue.
The Turkish state needs to have the courage to make a move toward peaceful resolution by allowing dialog with Kurdish nation. True democratic systems do not have their own people take up arms against them. If Turkey was a truly democratic state, it would not have that problem. The reason we don’t see that in Sweden, USA, UK and most European nations is because, for most part, everyone has the same opportunities in the pursuit of happiness and equal representation.
The problem with Turkish state is that its approach on handling the Kurdish problem has been to persistently deny the Kurdish identity and to label all Kurdish attempts for peaceful resolution as terrorists. Turkey views the whole Kurdish population as terrorists. Ignorance will not make the problem go way, it only prolongs it. If Turkey destroys PKK tomorrow, the Kurdish problem will still exist. The sooner reality is accepted, the greater the chance for peace.

Friday, July 14, 2006

July 15, 2006

Kurdish genocide denied by Ramsey Clark Saddam’s attorney
Ardalan Hardi

Recently I ran across a Wolf Blitzer interview with Ramsey Clark that aired on CNN June 27, 2006. Wolf Blitzer asked the former attorney general about Saddam’s trial and his involvement in the Anfal campaign.

  • Wolf Blitzer: “I want to go through that Anfal campaign, which is the next trial that's supposed to start in August. The organization, Human Rights Watch, with which you are familiar, had a report in 1993 on the Anfal campaign.”

  • The report said “Saddam Hussein's government was involved in mass executions and disappearances; 50,000 people, 200,000 people in the Kurdish areas. There was widespread use of chemical weapons, destruction of 2,000 villages, arbitrary jailing of tens of thousands of women, children and elderly, forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish villagers.” That was according to Human Rights Watch. The report concluded that "while it would be unrealistic to expect President Saddam Hussein to put himself and his closest aides and relatives on trial, a successor government in Baghdad should not shirk from its responsibility to carry out a thorough investigation of these enormous crimes and prosecute all those involved to the full extent of the law." That's Human Rights Watch.... What do you make of it?

  • Clark: “I think they're wrong and I think in hindsight they would realize they're wrong, that you can't have a fair trial there because security doesn't permit it. And that's what we insisted upon in November of '05. You can't have a fair trial when your lawyers are getting killed, when you can't investigate your case, and you can't go forward. And that's very obvious”.

  • “If you're going to have a fair trial, you've got to have safety for everybody involved. And you don't have that. And we shouldn't presume innocence. The Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA, the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA, and the U.S. Marine Corps have all said that Iraq did not have gasses that were used in Anfal or in Halabja. And they've said that in The New York Times and everywhere else. So we'd better wait and assume innocence.”

  • “I think the presumption of innocence is not a technical rule of evidence; it's a way of life. You'd better keep your mind open. You'd better not be prejudiced if you want to survive in this life because you're creating prejudice and hatred by threats of execution and by unfair trials”.

How many mass graves have to be uncovered for Mr. Clark to be convinced that his client is one of the worst criminals this world has seen since Adolph Hitler? How many documents, witnesses, videos and pictures does Mr. Clark need to see to realize how ridiculous and hypocritical he sounds? How many documentaries have to be produced before Mr. Clark begins to see the truth? All of this, plus Saddam’s confession in court on ordering the killing of 140 Shiites, and we are asked to wait and not to be prejudiced.

Mr. Clark continually reminds us that the reason more than 200,000 Kurds and thousands of Shiites were brutally, inhumanely tortured and buried alive in mass graves by Saddam and his thugs was because they were “sentenced to death under Iraqi law, and it was for treason against your country in time of war, including an attempt to assassinate the president by the Dawa Party.” However, Clark forgets to mention the laws were created and manipulated by the dictator he is defending.

Let us assume you are right Mr. Clark. All 140 people in Dijal that attempted to assassinate Saddam and 5,000 Peshmarga forces that sided with Iran during Iraq – Iran war deserved to be sentenced for treason and death. What about all those reports of Kurdish and Shiites atrocities, mass graves of harmless women and children that are being discovered daily? What about the 5,000 civilians in Halabja? How could you say Saddam did not have poison gas ability when Physicians for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and every other human rights group that exists today are confirming the use of chemical weapons by Saddam on Kurdish civilians? What about the 4,000 villages that were uprooted from Kurdistan with the inhabitants never to be seen again? If Massud Barzani, the current president of Kurdistan, was guilty for leading the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) forces and siding with Iran, what about the 8,000 innocent Barzani civilians including men, women and children? What was their crime? What about Saddam’s own confession on Iraqi TV? Just one month after Barzani Kurds were taken, Saddam admitted publicly his regime was involved in their disappearance. When asked about his safety, Clark says he “feels pretty safe in Iraq. I'm an American. I can get in and out. I don't live there. My family's not there. I don't have to worry about my family.” That’s right, Mr. Clark, but tens of thousands of Kurds and Shiites families did not have that luxury under the brutal dictator you are defending.

U.S. president Abraham Lincoln once said “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally” I wonder how you would feel if you were a Kurd from Iraq and lived under Saddam laws and your family disappeared without a trace and you waited more than 15 years to hear something about their status only to find out they were buried alive in a mass grave some where in the dessert near Saudi Arabia. Would you still say the Human Rights Watch is wrong?

Mr. Clark is the same man who defended Karl Linnas, an ex-Nazi concentration camp guard in Estonia who oversaw the murder of some 12,000 resistance fighters and Jews. Clark is the same man who attended the funeral of Slobodan Milosevic and declared: "History will prove Milosevic was right. Charges are just that, charges. The trial did not have facts." Clark also described Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein as "both commanders" who "were courageous enough to fight more powerful countries.”

Mr. Clark these are not just baseless charges. This was genocide. There are hundreds of thousands of documentations captured by the Kurds from the Iraqi army that are stored at Colorado University in Boulder that prove genocide without a reasonable doubt.You have crossed a moral line and have lost your credibility by defending thugs like Saddam Hussein.

It is worthy of attention that Ramsey Clark is the son of Tom Clark who was also an attorney general under President Truman. President Truman admitted to a biographer that "Tom Clark was my biggest mistake." But Truman insisted: "It isn't so much that he's a bad man. It's just that he's such a dumb son of a bitch”. I wonder if Truman was alive today what he would say about young Mr. Clark.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Remembering Saddam's Victims

If you have half an hour to spare, this sunny afternoon, watch this PBS documentary, online:

Dr. Mohammed Ihsan is investigating the disappearance more than 20 years ago -- during the early years of Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship -- of 8,000 Kurdish men and boys. “This case is particularly significant,” says FRONTLINE/World reporter Gwynne Roberts. “Their abduction marks the point when Saddam’s regime moved from isolated acts of brutality to mass murder.” ...

Ihsan shows Roberts an eerie September 1983 black and white videotape in which Saddam summons Kurds to hear him denounce the “treachery” of the Barzanis. “They’ve been severely punished and have gone to hell,” Saddam declares. A captive audience obediently applauds. The abduction of the Barzani Kurds was the precursor to Saddam’s infamous Anfal campaign, in which his forces used terror tactics, including poisonous gas, to kill more than 100,000 Kurdish men, women and children.

Ihsan’s expedition gets under way from Arbil, a relatively peaceful and prosperous Kurdish city in northern Iraq. But even here, there is danger. In a bloody, chaotic scene, a suicide bomber kills 70 and injures 120 in a line of young Kurds waiting to join the police.

Via Nick Cohen.