Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 5, 2012
The Kurdish people have been seeking independence and/or autonomy in Middle Eastern countries including Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Turkey has been particularly aggressive combating this desire, conducting an armed campaign to defeat Kurdish guerrillas since 1984. In an escalation of the violence, last week the Turkish Air Force bombed the Kurdish village of Sirnak near the Iraqi border resulting in the deaths of 35 civilians. This led to rioting in some Turkish cities. Turkey’s largest Kurdish political party, the PDP, called the strike a crime against humanity and asked the United Nations to start an investigation.
It is curious that the Turks justified the attack on the Kurds based on their sovereign right to put down what they see as an armed danger within the country. This justification is in stark contrast to the approach Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken concerning Israel’s similar justification for its conflict with Palestinian terrorists. For example, when a flotilla of vessels attempted to run Israel’s blockade to Gaza that resulted in nine deaths, the Turks and much of the world went screaming to the United Nations for immediate investigation. Then, when the United Nations found in September 2011 that the Israelis acted within their sovereign rights, Turkey refused to accept the report.
Turkey’s response on these two very similar issues is nothing short of hypocritical. It is an inconsistent position that is often seen from many countries. This type of hypocrisy and inconsistency is also a hallmark of United Nations that has made this organization useless for the purpose that it was formed.
While the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters is often dependent on one’s geopolitical vision, the equivocating on this issue by United Nations has been a major cause of terrorism in recent decades. Beginning in the late 1960s, the chief purveyors of modern day terrorism, the Palestinian’s, used violence and murder to further political goals. For these brutal acts they were not castigated, but were instead rewarded, even given a podium at the United Nations when Arafat made his famous entrance with a pistol at his side. The world today pays a heavy price for this equivocation.
Turkey’s willingness to partner with Palestinian terrorists will ultimately hurt its efforts to put down the Kurdish terrorists and their national aspirations. It is remarkable that it’s Prime Minister Erdogan cannot see the fallacy in his duplicity policies on terrorism.
Posted in Terrorism, Turkey | Tagged: Airstrike, Gaza, Isreal, Kurds, Palestinians, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sirnak, Turkey, United Nations | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 22, 2011
Earlier this week a car bomb exploded in Ankara, Turkey killing three and injuring 34. Kurdish militants, who have been under attack from the Turkish military recently, are believed to be behind the bombing.
18% of Turkey’s population is made up of ethnic Kurds. Since 1984, Turkey has been battling the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), who desire more antimony or an independent Kurdish state. Recently, the Turkish air force has bombed PKK bases in northern Iraq. In addition, Turkey is in talks with Iran, who is also concerned about the possibility of an independent Kurdish state, concerning battling the Kurds.
Irrespective of any legitimacy of the Kurdish demands, the use of terrorism against civilians is not excusable, period. At the same time, the Turks do not come to this issue with clean hands given the recent actions of its Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan was a staunch supporter of the June 2010 flotilla that tried to run an Israeli naval blockade in order to deliver supplies to the terrorist organization in Gaza, Hamas. While the United Nations has since concluded Israel actions were within its rights, Turkey rejected these findings and has vowed to send more ships to add Hamas.
Turkey’s prosecutor said of this week’s Ankara bombing that it as a terrorist attack “because it has been done in a very public and crowded place, intended to cause great loss of life and property“. That definition certainly cover the actions of Hamas and other Palestinian militants. Turkey’s willingness to accept terrorism on behalf of the Palestinian self-determination, but not for the exact same desires of the Kurds, is telling. His dancing with the devil in other countries’ will ultimately lead to more terrorist violence in Turkey.
Posted in Terrorism, Turkey | Tagged: Ankara, Bomb, Gaza, Hamas, Iran, Kurdish Workers' Party, Kurds, Palestinians, PKK, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Terrorists, Turkey, Turks | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 9, 2011
In May, 2010, a flotilla of six ships attempted to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza to deliver supplies to Hamas. Five of the six vessels complied with the Israeli Navy’s demand to deliver their supplies through an Israeli port. The sixth, the Mavi Marmara from Turkey, ignored the warnings and was then boarded by the Israeli military. The videos below show the violence that ensued that resulted in nine crew members/passengers of the Mavi Marmara being killed.
The Mavi Marmara incident created an immediate condemnation by the United Nations in its typical knee-jerk anti-Israeli reaction. This reaction was precipitous given the live video evidence that indicates at least some culpability on the part of the attempted blockade runners.
Last week, over a year after the incident, the United Nations finally issued its report on the matter. A panel, headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, concluded that:
- The Israel blockade of Gaza, “was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”
- The flotilla “acted recklessly” in its effort to breach the blockade.
- There are “serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objectives” of the flotilla’s organizers.
- The Israeli commandos faced “organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers” on the vessel.
- “Israel’s decision to board the vessels with such substantial force at a great distance from the blockade zone and with no final warning immediately prior to the boarding was excessive and unreasonable.”
While the United Nations report did not completely exonerate Israel in the way it handled the interdiction of the Mavi Marmara, it concluded that Israel acted within its rights to enforce the blockade. It also concluded that the motivations of the attempted blockade runners were not benevolent, as they had claimed.
While it is refreshing to see United Nations issue a fair-minded report on the issue, it is telling that this report took over a year to create and release, while the initial condemnation of Israel was immediate. It is also telling to compare United Nation’s initial reaction to the Mavi Marmara incident in which nine activists were killed to its muted reaction to the ongoing violence against Syrian protesters where 2,000 have already been killed.
Israel has accepted the findings of the UN report. Turkey, on the other hand, rejected it. This is another sign that Turkey s heading in a direction against western interests.
Posted in Israel, Turkey, United Nations | Tagged: blockade, Gaza, Israel, Mavi Marmara, Turkey, UN, United Nations | 1 Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 20, 2010
Last Turkey once again sent its troops into northern Iraq to battle the Kurds. The Turks killed four Kurds and their soldiers remain in Iraq.
So let’s see; the Turks have a right to defend themselves against the Kurds who desire their own homeland that includes a piece of Turkey. But according to the Turks, the Israeli’s do not have the same right to defend themselves against Hamas who wants all of Israel for themselves. …… Hmmmm.
The United Nations condemned Israel for killing nine people a couple of weeks ago, but not a peep about these 4 dead Kurds killed by the Turks. Typical of Progressives, the value of one’s blood is determined by their political views. Morality plays no role in the Progressive world.
Posted in Progressives, Turkey, United Nations | Tagged: Hamas, Iraq, Israel, Kurds, Morality, Progressives, Turkey, United Nations | 1 Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 4, 2010
Some have said that the Turkish-paid for vessel went to Gaza to delver humanitarian aid to residence of Gaza. The Israelis accuse them of having more nefarious intent. Bob forward us an interesting video posted below where one of those killed by the IDF pronounced his intent to become a “martyr” the day before he was killed. And with this kind of evidence the United Nations dares to condemn Israel!
Posted in Gaza, Israel, Terrorism, Turkey | Tagged: Gaza, IDF, Israel, Martyr, Turkey, Turks, United Nations | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 4, 2010
With the world seemingly gone mad when it comes to backing terrorists like Hamas, some brutalized Israelis have kept their sense of humor. The video below defines the insanity in song and satire better than any written editorial.
Posted in Anti-Semitism, Israel, Terrorism, Turkey | Tagged: Abandon Reason, Hamas, Israel, Middle East, Terrorists, Turkey | 2 Comments »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 3, 2010
Over the years the Palestinian movement and some other Islamic countries have used terrorism and suicide bombers to further their goal to destroy Israel. Those efforts have so far failed and in fact Israel has become one of the few Middle East countries that produces anything of value for the world other than oil. Unfortunately while the Progressives in Europe preach “Green”, they are very dependent on Middles East’s oil and the money that flows with it to Israel’s detriment.
This week the terrorist group Hamas and sympathizers used new approach to further their goals sending a supposed humanitarian ship convoy to Gaza. While the convoy included supplies, that was not its primary goal or they would have allowed the cargo to be inspected. No, their goal was to create a crisis and they succeeded at the cost of human life, an asset they frequently care little about.
Nine people aboard the vessel Marmara were killed by IDF (Israeli Defense Forces). The world reacted almost before the event occurred. As more information is known about those who were killed it has become apparent that “martyrdom” was part of their intent.
The United Nations condemned Israel immediately calling on it to explain its use of “disproportionate force” against the “victims” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon saying that he was shocked by the killings and demanded answers urgently. Then in lockstep, Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN observer, called the attack a “war crime”. This type of rhetoric is expected from a UN run by Left-wing Progressives. However, this time the facts were captured on video tape, as attached below. IDF solders boarded the ship and were immediately attacked. This is undeniable. After viewing this video only Progressives and anti-Semites would question those solders’ right to defend themselves. That includes those that call the IDF’s actions “disproportionate” or “war crimes”.
Making this story even more outrageous are the unclean hands of two of the major complainants to the Israeli actions, Turkey and the United Nations. Let’s review some of their dirty laundry.
Turkey was the major backer of the convoy through the “Free Gaza Movement”. The name helps explain their mission; not humanitarian but at least political. But that does raise the first question: Why should Gaza be free? After Israel withdrew from Gaza the terrorist organization Hamas took control of it. They not only do they include the destruction of Israel in their charter, but fired thousands of rocket from Gaza into Israel. Israel has the right to defend itself including insuring that rockets do not get supplied to Hamas.
In addition, Turkey’s concern for the plight of Palestinians serves the interests of the more radical Muslim gaining power in that country. While they loudly protest the death of the nine activists killed by the IDF, minority Christians in Turkey are being murdered. In fact today, Luigi Padovese, the pope’s vicar in Anatolia, was killed in his home in port of Iskenderun. Other attacks in Turkey include a Catholic priest in Izmir, after Sunday Mass, as well and three Christians in Anatolian. These poor folks were tied up and had their throats slit. Another Catholic Priest, Father Andrea Santoro, was killed as he prayed in church near Trabzon.
Finally, Turkey has had no problem attacking the Kurds in its own country as well as in Iraq in the name of national security. These Kurds have the audacity to want their own homeland. Why is that they are less worthy than the Palestinians? Hypocrisy!
Now on to the United Nations, the ultimate poster child for hypocrisy. Nine activist die at the hands of Israelis trying to defend themselves and we have a worldwide crisis the next day. However, when hundreds of thousands are murdered or starved in Africa, it takes the UN months to decide if even anyone is to blame. More recently on March 26 the North Koreans torpedoed a South Korean naval vessel killing over 40 sailors. While clearly an unprovoked act in international waters, over two-months later there is still no UN condemnation. Progressive are not even willing to make excuses for this unequal expression of moral outrage because they would ultimately lead to the question of anti-Semitism or oil money. The United Nations is a corrupt body that has no moral authority to judge any nation.
Today the Wall Street Journal had a headline on the front page the reads “Israel’s Isolation Deepens”. While an accurate, the real question is why? Israel’s actions over the years in its self-defense have not changed. What has changed is the political atmosphere and that to a large extent is due to the way the current President Barack Obama views Israel and its rights. His tilt against Israel has been notice and Israel’s enemies see this as an opportunity. But instead of bringing about peace, Obama’s policies will more likely create war as Israel will find the need to make an aggressive effort to protect itself in a less friendly world.
When Barack Obama was running for the presidency many American Jews were concerned by his position towards Israel. They, like many other Americans, were duped by charisma that overshadowed his substance (or lack of it). Obama created a narrative with eloquent words like comments made to in June 2008 to AIPAC: “Our alliance is based on shared interests and shared values. Those who threaten Israel threaten us. Israel has always faced these threats on the front lines. And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security.”
Obama’s actions since the election have not shown an “unshakeable commitment” to Israel. In fact it has been just the opposite. This is but another example of the President’s words carrying little credibility. The Middle East is a more dangerous place because of this. The world is a more dangerous place since American stopped acting like a leader, the day we elected our new leader..
Posted in Gaza, Israel, Middle East, Turkey | Tagged: Ban Ki Moon, Europe, Father Andrea Santoro, Free Gaza Movement, Gaza, Hamas, humanitarian, IDF, Islamic, Israel, Israeli Defense Force, Kurds, Luigi Padovese, martyrdom, Middle East, North Korea, Obama, Oil, Palestinians, Progressives, Ship, South Korea, Torpedo, Turkey, United Nations | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 12, 2010
Bret Stephens, a Wall Street Journal writer, included an op-ed on May 11 that is a worthy read. Titled: “What Is Happening to Turkey” with a link is provided below, Stephens reviews significant changes occurring in Turkey that have made it less friendly to the United States that includes:
- The ruling Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Erdogan that came to power in 2002 has some stronger connections to Islamic groups than previous Turkish governments.
- Turkey ended its strategic partnership with Israel and Erdogan has since accused Israel of “savagery” in Gaza and opened a diplomatic line to the terrorist group Hamas.
- Erdogan was among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his fraudulent Iranian election.
- Erdogan has created close relations with Syrian leader Bashar Assad, a sponsor of terrorism and no friend of the United States.
- Erdogan has created strong ties with the genocidal government of Sudan.
In addition Turkey has rebuffed Obama’s request for a Security Council vote for sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.
The current direction of Turkish foreign policy is more evidence that President Obama’s well publicized outreach to Islam and Turkey in particular have failed. This outreach included Obama’s trip to Turkey on April 6, 2009.
If confronted with this foreign policy failure, Obama would undoubtedly resort to his practice of blaming others, including his predecessor. But that dog no longer hunts. Forgetting the amount of time that has passed since Bush left office, America’s popularity in Turkey has dropped since Obama took office. According to Stephens, America’s favorability rating is at an all-time low in Turkey being around 14% since Obama’s election, compared to 30% in 2004 when Abu Ghraib prison scandal was made public.
The lesson for Obama should be self-evident. Nice words and singing Kumbaya does not make for a successful foreign policy or create friends in the world. Countries become allied only when it is in the interest of their leaders and to a lesser extent their populations. While the Leftists mainstream media may indicate that America is somehow perceived more positively since the election of Barack Obama, it has not occurred where the rubber meets the road.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Islam, President Obama, Turkey | Tagged: Abu Ghraib, Bashar Assad, Bret Stephens, Bush, Foreign Policy, Gaza, Hamas, Iran, Islam, Islamic, Israel, Justice and Development Party, Leftists Press, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mainsteam Media, President Obama, Prime Minister Erdogan, Sanctions, Security Council, Syria, Terrorists, Turkey, UNited States | Leave a Comment »