Promises but Never Peace

By Michael Kelly

The Washington Post
Wednesday, April 3, 2002; Page A23

On July 1, 1994, Yasser Arafat entered Gaza to establish the Palestinian Autonomous Region -- betwixt-and-between creature of the Oslo peace process that was supposed to become, under the guiding light of the Oslo peace process, the physical base of another ambivalent notion, the Palestinian National Authority. I went as a reporter to Gaza a few hours before Arafat arrived, and I stayed there for about five weeks, observing the early days of life and governance under the Palestinian Authority.

Arafat's entry into Gaza was an object lesson: a purposely uncaring display of brute power. He arrived from the Sinai in a long caravan of Chevrolet Blazers and Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs, 70 or 80 cars packed to the rooflines with men with guns. The caravan roared up the thronged roads and down the mobbed streets, with the overfed, leather-jacketed, sunglassed thugs of Arafat's bodyguard detail all the time screaming and shooting off their Kalashnikovs to make their beloved people scurry out of their beloved leader's way.

This was the whole of the Palestinian Authority from the beginning, an ugly little cartoon of Middle East despotism. There was never any pretense of democracy, of rule of law, of a free press, of a working system of taxes or courts or hospitals. There was never any real government. No one ever bothered to build an economy or create jobs or even pick up the trash or pave the streets. There were only security forces -- many, many of these -- and villas by the sea for Arafat's cronies, and millions of dollars in foreign aid that seemed to always turn up missing, and prisons and propaganda. And in the middle of it all: "President" Arafat sitting in a room -- surrounded by waiting sycophants and toadies and respectful ladies and gentlemen of the press -- and complaining.

That summer, I saw only three serious efforts at establishing functioning government: the imprisoning of free-speakers and potential democrats, which began immediately, the likewise prompt establishment of daily anti-Israel broadcasts and a British-run program to train handpicked members of Arafat's Fatah group in riot control.

Of course, there was never any peace. Arafat had promised to disarm Hamas, Hezbollah and his own Fatah gunmen. No evidence exists that he ever seriously tried. The terrorists resumed lethal operations against Israel within a month of Arafat's arrival. Between the day Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin signed the deal that was to buy peace for Israel and the day Arafat and Rabin won the Nobel Peace Prize for that accord, Palestinian terrorists killed 90 Israelis. In five years after Oslo, Palestinians killed more Israelis than in 15 years preceding the accord.

Meanwhile, Arafat's government has exploited Israel's permission to establish a police force to instead build a guerrilla army. Several months ago, some of Arafat's most senior lieutenants were identified as the architects of an attempt to import an entire shipload of rockets, arms and high explosives into Gaza. In occupying Palestinian Authority offices this week in Ramallah, Israel plausibly claims to have discovered two container-loads of prohibited SAM-7 antiaircraft missiles and more than 200 LAW anti-tank missiles.

Much can be conceded in the issue of Israel and the Palestinians: The Palestinians have, in their lost land, a great and real grievance; as a moral and practical matter, Israel should admit this, and it should be willing to trade land for peace with its neighbors.

But this is precisely the point: Israel didconcede these questions. It has been nearly two years since Israel offered the Palestinians nearly all of the territories occupied in 1967.

Arafat's response has redundantly proved his harshest critics right. There was never any honest intent on the Palestinian part for peaceful coexistence with Israel, any more than there was ever any honest intent to establish a government in Gaza that would function toward that end and toward the creation of a decent life for the Palestinian people. What the Palestinians seek -- what Arafat has encouraged them to seek -- is, as is now beyond dispute, the defeat and surrender of Israel.

Arafat and the Palestinians decided to gamble the peace process on a bet for bigger gains through war. They bet -- are betting still -- that Israel, pushed beyond endurance by an unprecedented level of civilian deaths, would surrender to, in essence, the destruction of the Israeli state. This is an insane bet. It will end in the destruction of the experiment Arafat subverted from the very first day.

An Open Letter to American Jews
> By Assaf Oron

> Passover Eve, 2002
> Dear People,
> Yesterday I was informed of an interesting phenomenon: a
> peace-supporting Jewish organization called Tikkun published an ad in
> favor of us, the Israeli reservist refuseniks, and was immediately
> bombarded with hate mails and phones from other American Jews. What ís
> more interesting is that even other Jews considering themselves
> supporters of peace have denounced the Tikkun ad, to the extent that
> some of the Tikkun Advisory Board members are resigning in order to
> minimize the personal damage to themselves. This has so saddened,
> alarmed and angered me, that I find myself setting aside a half-day at
> the eve of Passover, and writing this open letter to you all. As is
> my habit, it is quite long, so please bear with me.
> Most of the 'civilized' attacks, so I understand, were seemingly aimed
> at this or that detail of the Tikkun ad. This is nothing new to me.
> Over the past two months since we came out with our own ad, Iíve heard
> and read so many specific arguments about specific aspects of our act.
> They range from petty nit-picking to plain ludicrous, and each and
> every one of them can be refuted to dust in a matter of minutes. But
> the moment you refute them, new specific arguments sprout up like
> mushrooms. It is clear that there is something very general and
> non-specific behind all this criticism. Therefore, if you allow me, I
> will start from the general and only later turn to a couple of these
> specific issues.
> The general theme is the tribal theme. A very very loud voice (and i n
> Israel nowadays, it is the only voice that is allowed to be fully
> heard) keeps shouting that we are in the midst of a war between two
> tribes: a tribe of human beings, of pure good ñ the Israelis ñ and a
> tribe of sub-human beings, of pure evil ñ the Palestinians. This voice
> is so loud, that it has found its way even to the op-ed pages of the
> New York Times (William Safire, March 24 or 25). To those who find
> this black-and-white picture a bit hard to believe, the same voice
> shouts that this is a war of life and death. Only one tribe will
> survive, and so even if we are not purely good, we must lay morality
> and conscience to sleep, shut up and fight to kill--or else, the
> Palestinians will throw us into the sea.
> Does this ring a bell to you? It does to me. As a little child growing
> up in Israel under Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan, all I heard was that
> the Arabs are inhuman monsters who want to throw us into the sea, they
> understand only force, and since our wonderful IDF has won the Six Day
> War they know not to mess with us anymore --or else. And of course, we
> must keep the Liberated Territories to ourselves, because thereís no
> one to talk with. Then came the Yom Kippur war, and for a child of 7
> it was the perfect proof that indeed the Arabs want to throw us into
> the sea, and what a great opportunity it was for our glorious IDF to
> teach them a lesson. I prayed for the war to continue to its natural
> and final end -- the complete surrender of all Arab armies. I was too
> small to evaluate, then, how the war really ended; all these
> cease-fires and talks were too complicated and boring, much more
> boring than a war. And it seemed humiliating that WE should withdraw
> in these cease-fires; I remember that the re-opening of the Suez Canal
> was portrayed in our mass media as a kind of defeat.
> A few years passed and a funny thing happened: those
> throw-us-into-the-sea Arabs came to talk with us, and in exchange for
> all of Sinai they would sign a full peace. The IDF chief of staff (the
> late Motte Gur, later a Labor Party
> minister) shouted that it is a hoax, that we should not believe
> Saadat, but the politicians had to sign. Already a teenager, I went
> and protested against the withdrawal from Sinai. It seemed strange to
> me that most of the demonstrators were orthodox Jews. After all, it
> was a purely logical issue: the Arabs are not to be trusted, thatís
> what weíve learned from day one. Well, lucky for the country, the
> government and the majority of the people employed a different logic,
> and the peace with Egypt was not missed.
> But the throw-us-into-the-sea paradigm immediately found new fields
> for play. There was an inconvenient reality on the Northern border,
> and even though the forces on the other side (Palestinians!
> Phew!) had strictly adhered to a secret cease-fire for about a year,
> they were Arabs and therefore could not be trusted. So we talked
> ourselves into invading Lebanon and setting up a friendlier regime
> there. The mastermind of the invasion was defense minister Ariel
> Sharon, and Shimon Peres, then head of opposition, voted together with
> his party in favor of the invasion. Only later, when it turned sour,
> and after many refuseniks already sat in jail, would the main
> opposition turn against the whole affair. For me at 16 it was also a
> turning point. When I understood that the government had lied to me in
> order to sell me this war, I turned from 'center-rightist' to
> 'leftist'. Sadly enough, it has taken me almost 20 more years, in a
> slow and painful process, to understand how deeply the lies and
> self-delusion are rooted in our collective perception of reality.
> Anyway, when Peres withdrew most of our forces from Lebanon in 1985,
> the Arabs could still not be trusted. And so, to soothe our endless
> paranoia and suspicion, we created that perpetual source of death and
> crime ironically known as "the Security Zone." It took many years, a
> lot of blood and Four Mothers ñ against almost all politicians,
> generals, and columnists ñ to finally pull us out of Lebanon. In the
> long and hard way, we learned that even the Lebanese are human beings
> whose rights must be respected.
> But not the Palestinians. Because the Palestinians are too painfully
> close, like a rival sibling (and ñ may I add ñ because they have
> always been so weak), we have singled them out for a special
> treatment. Having them under our rule, weíve allowed ourselves to
> trample them like dirt, like dogs. Weíve been doing it even to our own
> Palestinian citizens (especially before 1966), but we have perfected
> our treatment in this strange no manís land created in 1967, and known
> as the Occupied Territories. There we have created an entirely
> hallucinatory reality, in which the true humans, members of the Nation
> of Masters, could move and settle freely and safely, while the
> sub-humans, the Nation of Slaves, were shoved into the corners, and
> kept invisible and controlled under our IDF boots.
> I know. I've been there. I was taught how to do this, back in the
> mid-1980ís. I did and witnessed as a matter of fact, deeds that I'm
> ashamed to remember to this day. And fortunately for me, I did not
> have to witness or do anything truly "pornographic", as some friends
> of mine experienced.
> Since 1987, this cruel, impossible, unnatural, insulting reality in
> the Territories has been exploding in our face. But because of our
> unshakeable belief that the Palestinians are monsters who want to
> throw us into the sea, we reacted by trying to maintain what we've
> created at all costs. This meant of course employing more and more and
> more force, with the natural result of receiving more and more and
> more force in return. When a fledgling and hesitating peace process
> tried to work its way through this mess, one major factor (perhaps THE
> factor) that undermined it and voided its meaning was our
> establishmentís endless fear and suspicion of The Other. To resolve
> this fear and suspicion, we chose the insane route of demanding full
> control of The Other throughout the process. When this Other finally
> decided that weíre cheating him out of his freedom (and having too
> many mental disorders of his own to accommodate ours as well),
> violence erupted, and all our ancient instincts woke up. There they
> are, we said in relief, now we see their true face again. The Arabs
> want to throw us into the sea. Thereís no one to talk with (ëno
> partnerí, in our beloved ex-PMís words), and they understand only
> force. And so we responded as we know and love, with more and more and
> more force. This time, the effect was that of putting out a fire with
> a barrel of gasoline. And thatís the moment when I said to myself, NO,
> Iím not playing this game anymore.
> But what about the existential threat, you may ask? Well I ask you,
> have you not eyes? Donít you see our tanks strolling in Palestinian
> streets every other day? Donít you see our helicopters hovering over
> their neighborhoods choosing which window to shoot a missile into?
> What type of existential need are we answering in trampling the
> Palestinians?
> Prevention of terror, I hear you say. Let me use the wonderful words
> of my friend Ishay Rosen-Zvi: ìYou are ëfighting against terrorí? What
> a joke. The Israeli government, in its policies of Occupation, has
> turned the Territories into a greenhouse for growing terror!!!
> We have sown the seeds, grown them, nurtured them ñ and then our blood
> is spilled, and the centrist-right-wing politicians reap the benefits.
> Indeed, terror is the right-wing politicianís best friend. You know
> what? When you treat millions of people like sub-humans for so long,
> some of them will find inhuman strategies to fight back. Isn't that
> what the Zionists, and other Jewish revolutionaries, argued about a
> hundred years ago in order to explain the questionable strategies of
> survival that Jews used in Europe? Didn't our forefathers say, ìLet us
> live like human beings, and see how we'll act just like other human
> beings?
> So here's the deal. I hope that the first part of this letter made it
> clear that I donít buy the ìthey want to throw us into the sea crap.
> Itís just a collective self-delusion of ours. But more importantly, I
> donít see tribes. I see people, human beings. I believe that the
> Palestinians are human beings like us. What a concept, eh? And before
> everything else, before EVERYTHING else, we must treat them like human
> beings without demanding anything in return. And no (to all die-hard
> Barak fans), throwing them a couple of crumbs in which they can set up
> pitiful, completely controlled Bantustans in between our settlements
> and bypass roads, and believing it to be a great act of ëgenerosityí,
> does NOT come close to answering this basic requirement. This
> requirement is NOT negotiable; moreover, in a perfect demonstration of
> historical justice, it is a vital requirement for the survival of our
> own State.
> After that, and based on the lessons of modern history, especially
> that of the Arab-Israeli conflict (as was briefly described above), I
> do believe that the Palestinians will calm down, and that the elusive
> ëSecurityí and peace will finally come upon us (as it did,
> incidentally, for almost two whole years between Wye 1998 and Camp
> David 2000). I donít have any insurance policy for that (well --almost
> none, except the solemn promise of the entire Arab world), but
> remember - I have this funny notion that they are human beings. In any
> case, we are seeing now all too well what type of insurance policy the
> opposite paradigm is providing us.
> In the meanwhile, I refuse to be a terrorist in my tribeís name.
> Because thatís what it is: not a ìwar against terrorî, as our
> propaganda machine tries to sell. This is a war OF terror, a war in
> which, in return for Palestinian guerrilla and terror, we employ the
> IDF in two types of terror. The more visible one are the violent acts
> of killing and destruction, those which some people still try to
> explain away as ësurgical acts of defense.í The worse type of terror
> is the silent one, which has continued unabated since 1967 and through
> the entire Oslo process. It is the terror of Occupation, of
> humiliation on a personal and collective basis, of deprivation and
> legalized robbery, of alternating exploitation and starvation. This is
> the mass of the iceberg, the terror that is itself a long-term
> greenhouse for counter-terror. And I simply refuse to be a terrorist
> and criminal, even if the entire tribe denounces me.
> That leads me to the first specific subject: are we, the refuseniks,
> being persecuted and denounced, or are we enjoying the wonderful
> Israeli tolerance and democracy and exploiting it to make trouble?
> Well, I must admit that this is not yet the USSR or Pinochetís Chile,
> and at least the Jews here enjoy a relative democracy (describing it
> as vibrant or tolerant would be a gross error, but that is a different
> subject altogether; maybe in another letter). I first must point out
> that the government and IDF also enjoy the image of 'letting us
> speak', and it serves them well. Secondly, in a rather sophisticated
> manner the establishment (with the generous and voluntary help of the
> mass media) is effectively shutting us up.
> The media has decided for us that there is no opposition. Thus, a
> demonstration of 20,000 is reported in 5 seconds at the late-night
> edition, and a demonstration of 500 outside a military prison is
> completely ignored. The fact that right now there are over a dozen
> refuseniks in jail ñ the largest number in twenty years ñ is hidden
> from the Israeli public. The story of Captain (res.) Itai Haviv and
> Sergeant (res.) Yair Yeffeth, who demanded a full military trial in
> which they could prove that refusal is innocence and that the order
> to serve in the Territories is illegal, was not told anywhere except
> for a brief mention in the back pages of Haaretz. So the public, of
> course, didnít learn that the IDF evaded answering these demands, and
> that Itai Haviv will spend the Seder night in prison following a
> ëdisciplinary hearing.í I hope the readers are intelligent enough to
> know that if the media wanted, these stories would make the headlines.
> Still, you keep hearing about us. Thatís the key word, ABOUT us. But
> you donít hear us. You just hear people explaining, analyzing, mostly
> (in a ratio of 99 to 1) attacking us. We have become the perfect 'hate
> hour' figures, to reunite the tribe against (have you read
> 1984?) Petty ëvolunteerí groups who organized against us, a mayor who
> called upon local governments not to hire us, and a group of
> industrialists who called employers to fire us, have all won their
> moment in the spotlight. No one cared to mention that these are
> blatantly illegal calls (no, ëthe lawí is remembered only when we
> 'break' it). No one has tried to set limits to this discussion.
> Moreover, the prime minister in one of his rare public addresses
> blamed us for the wave of terror (us, not his catastrophic policies).
> The IDF chief of staff canít stop talking about us; he sees us as a
> bunch of inciters with a hidden agenda. So, ironically, the only thing
> protecting us from long-term ëgulagí imprisonment and from losing our
> jobs is public opinion ñ the rather large pockets of support and
> sympathy among key sectors in the Israeli public, and yes, support ads
> such as the one published by Tikkun. The moment the government or IDF
> will think the lights are out, and no one sees or cares ñ they will
> find or invent the 'legal' clause (Israeli politicians are experts in
> this) and throw those they believe to be our ëleadersí to jail for
> long terms. Remember, even poor Abie Nathan was thrown in for two
> years, just because he dared speak with PLO personnel about peace.
> But that's nothing, because the moment our government will sense a
> "lights out" situation - a huge terror attack, an American attack on
> Iraq - there will be a horrible bloodbath in the Territories, compared
> to which the last year and a half will be remembered as a happy
> picnic. And that brings me to the second specific issue, that of the
> Nazi allusion.
> Some readers thought that the way the Tikkun ad said "obeying orders"
> was an allusion to Nazi murderers' claim that they were "just obeying
> orders." Rabbi Lerner has rightly pointed out to these readers,
> that automatic execution of orders is a characteristic of all
> dictatorship, not just the Nazi one, while refusal on moral grounds is
> a sign of democracy. I agree, but let me be less polite and
> politically correct. After all, itís just my country thatís going up
> in smoke as I write. What is this? Does Israel have the exclusive
> monopoly of labeling all its rivals as Nazis, and everyone else has to
> shut up, even when reality starts speaking for itself?
> Parties that support the essentially Nazi idea of deporting all
> Palestinians from the country, have been part of our Knesset and our
> "legitimate" political map since 1984. Recent opinion polls show that
> 35% of the Jewish public now supports this ësolutioní, as it is
> sometimes called. Leaders, Rabbis, and just plain folk feel free to
> call openly in the mass media to eradicate Palestinian cities with or
> without their tenants. Last weekend, Gen. (res.) Effi Eitam, fresh out
> of the military and all ready to take the leadership of the religious
> public and become a deputy or alternative to Netanyahu, received a
> flattering cover story on Haaretz supplement. He unfolded his chilling
> ideology, calling to expel those Palestinians who don't want to remain
> in the Galilee and West Bank as serfs, to Jordan, and from Gaza to
> Sinai. And he said this: why should us, the country poorest in land
> resources, bear the burden of solving the Palestinian problem? Well I
> donít know about you, but I remember some of the Nazi rhetoric in that
> dark period between the Kristallnacht of 1938 and the beginning of the
> war, when Jews were expelled from Germany but could find no safe haven
> anywhere else. When I see a retired IDF general and rising political
> star use the exact same Nazi rhetoric on Israelís most ëliberalí
> newspaper, without any criticism by his interviewer or the editors ñ
> my hair just stands on my head in horror.
> Letís move from the political scene back to the ground. My friend,
> Captain (Res.) Dan Tamir, decided to refuse to serve in the
> Territories about a year ago, after he realized what heíd done as a
> reserve regimentís intelligence officer a few weeks before that. He
> realized he had laid out the plans to convert a large Palestinian town
> into a closed ghetto. You can find his full statement on our website,
> www.seruv.org.il. The vast majority of Palestinians in the Territories
> now starve in such ghettos; in those days of mercy when they are
> allowed to leave them by foot and perhaps catch a taxi, these taxis
> are forbidden from using most of the paved roads in the region
> But why listen to a "leftist"? Letís hear it from senior IDF officers.

> One of the top commanders in the Territories was quoted in Haaretz
> (Jan. 25) as saying that in order to prepare for potential battles in
> dense urban neighborhoods, the IDF must learn, if necessary, how the
> German army ëoperatedí in the Warsaw Ghetto. A week later, the
> reporter confirmed this quote and the fact that this is a widespread
> opinion in the IDF, and went further to morally defend it. A small
> number of people, including myself, tried to raise a scandal over
> this. One letter to the editor was published in Haaretz. A much
> tougher letter, which I wrote, was never published, nor was my plea
> for a phone discussion with an editor ever answered. The issue just
> died down. No one in Israel or in the Jewish public abroad was
> interested. Where were all these holy souls, who now scold Tikkun
> because they indirectly allude to the Nazi horror, where were they all
> when a senior IDF officer proudly called, ìin order to beat the
> Palestinians, let's be Judo-Nazisî?
> In my letter to Haaretz I went further. Knowing the IDF mentality and
> adding one to one, I concluded that the IDF is operationally prepared
> to invade refugee camps ñ an utter, indefensible war crime
> - and through this leak to the press it is starting to pressure the
> government and prepare the public opinion for the invasion. The l
> etter was not published. It was sent on February 2. A few weeks later
> we all saw the horrors of the refugee camp invasions and the bloody
> revenge attacks that followed culminating on Passover eve. And you
> know what? Army generals and colonels morally and professionally pat
> themselves on the back, because these invasions "prevented terror",
> and killed only dozens and not thousands. (Note: in fact, the major
> reason limiting the bloodshed was the "terrorists"

> responsible decision not to turn the camps into all-out
> battlegrounds. But this may change in the next round.)
> In truth, I have little hope that the Israeli public will wake up.
> The Israeli public, in its fear and confusion, has made a decision
> (aided by the politicians and mass media) to go to sleep and wake up
> only ìafter it is all overî. But it wonít be over, because while our
> mind sleeps our muscles tighten the death grip, instead of doing the
> only sensible thing (which requires an open mind) ñ which is to let
> go. Will you guys join the hypocrite mobs who sing lullabies to Israel
> and pounce upon the refuseniks, upon Tikkun, to shut us up? Or will
> you finally take responsibility and be the true friends that Israel
> needs now ñ even if it means not being "nice"

> to Israel for a while?
> As you sit tonight at the Seder table, please remember the dozen or so
> refuseniks that spend this Seder in a military jail. More importantly,
> please remember the thousand or so people, three quarters Palestinians
> and one quarter Israelis, who were here with us a year ago and have
> been murdered. Most of them could have been here with us, if you and
> we had acted sooner. We have now acted, done what little we can do.
> Please think of the many thousands that may be doomed soon, if you
> continue sitting on the fence.
> May you have a happy Holiday of Freedom,
> Please help us struggle free from fear, racism, hatred and the deaths
they produce.
> Yours,
> Assaf Oron
> Want to do something? Join the TIKKUN COMMUNITY. Membership: $120/yr.
> (students and very verylow income: $40) includes a subscription to
> TIKKUN Magazine. Go to www.tikkun.org Then, call your local
> media and insist that they represent our perspective--and ask them to
> call Liat at 415 575 1200 to get a balanced perspective on the Middle
> East mess, a perspective that recognizes that both sides have created
> this mess and both sides continue to make immoral choices to keep it
> going. We call upon the US and the UN to intervene and protect both
> sides from each other, and for both sides to END THE VIOLENCE and for
> Chag sameyach. RabbiLerner@tikkun.org

Noam Chomsky on a Recent Tour in the Turkish Misruled Kurdistan
>His Address and Q. and A. in Amed

>March 31, 2002
>If I can open with just a personal remark of my own, it is a very
>moving experience for me to be here. I have followed as best I can the
>noble and tragic history of the Kurds in Turkey in past years from
>everything I can find, particularly in last ten years. But it is quite
>different to see
>the actual faces of the people who are resisting and who continue to
>struggle for freedom and justice.
>I have been asked repeatedly to express my opinion about the rights of
>people to use their mother tongue. As a linguist I have no opinion
>about the matter. As a human being
>there is nothing to discuss. It is too obvious. The right to use oneÕs
>mother tongue freely
>in every way that one wants -- in literature, in public meetings, in any
>other form -- that is a primary essential human right. There is nothing
>further to say about it.
>The campaign of the past weeks of the students, mothers, fathers to
>petition for the right to have elective courses in oneÕs own language
>is again simply affirming an
>elementary human right that should not even be under discussion. One can
>only admire
>the courage of people who are pressing this campaign in the face of
>repression and
>Beyond the matter of cultural rights, which are beyond discussion,
>obvious rights, there lies the world of difficult, intricate questions
>of political rights. These issues are arising all
>over the world.
>One of the healthy developments now taking place in Europe is the
>erosion of the nation-state system with increasing regionalization. In
>areas from Catalonia to Scotland,
>there is a revival of traditional languages, cultures, customs and a
>degree of political
>autonomy leading towards what may become -- and I think should become --
>arrangement of regional areas that are essentially autonomous within a
>federal framework. In fact something like the old Ottoman empire. There
>was a lot wrong with the Ottoman empire, but some things about it were
>basically correct: mainly, the fact that it left a high degree of
>regional autonomy and independence within a framework, which
>unfortunately was autocratic and corrupt and brutal, but we can
>eliminate that part, and the positive aspects of the Ottoman empire
>probably ought to be reconstructed in some fashion.
>And within that kind of framework, which I hope will be evolving, one
>can, I think, look forward to an autonomous Kurdistan, which can bring
>together the Kurds of the region,
>the tens of millions of Kurds of the region, into a self-governing,
>autonomous, culturally
>independent, politically active region, as part of a broader federation
>of -- one hopes -
>friendly and cooperating national and ethnic and cultural groups.
>The next question that arises has to do with the methods of struggle to
>achieve such ends. Here the primary question is whether these methods
>should be violent or
>non-violent. Here we have to distinguish two kinds of questions: moral
>questions and
>tactical questions. With regard to the moral questions, my own personal
>view is that a
>very heavy burden of proof is required for anyone who advocates or
>undertakes the use
>of violence. In my view that burden of proof can very rarely be met.
>Non-violent protest is more appropriate morally, and tactically as well.
>However, there is a fundamental
>principle of non-violence: "you do not preach non-violence unless you
>are willing to standalong side to the people who are suffering the
>repression." Otherwise, you canÕt give that advice. IÕm not in a
>position to stand next to the people who are suffering repression, so I
>can only express my opinion, but not give advice.
>ItÕs a characteristic of history for oppression to lead to resistance
>and for resistance often to turn to violent resistance. If it does,
>that resistance is invariably called terrorism.
>ThatÕs is true for everyone, even the worldÕs worst mass murderers. So
>the Nazis for
>example described what they were doing in Europe as defending the
>population against
>the terrorism of the partisans. In their eyes, they were defending the
>government of France against the terrorist partisans who were directed
>from abroad. The same with Japanese in Manchuria. They were defending
>the population from the terrorism of Chinese bandits. Propaganda, no
>matter how vulgar, always has to have some element of truth in it, if it
>is to be credible at all. And even in the case of the worst mass
>murderers like the Nazis or Japanese invaders there was an element of
>truth to their
>claims. In some perverse sense their claims were legitimate, and the
>same can be said
>about the claims made by others: the United States, Turkey and other
>countries, who
>claim to be defending the population against terrorism.
>With regard to the concept of terrorism there are really two notions:
>one is the notion "terror," another is the notion "counter-terror." If
>you look in, for example, US Army
>manuals, they define "terror" and they define "counter-terror." And the
>interesting thing about the definitions is they are virtually identical.
>Terrorism turns out to be about the same as counter-terrorism. The main
>difference is who is the agent of the terrorist violence. If itÕs
>someone we donÕt like, it is terrorism. If
>itÕs someone we do like, including ourselves, it is counter-terrorism.
>But apart from that
>the definitions of the actions are about the same.
>Another important difference between terrorism and counter-terrorism is
>that what is called "counter-terrorism" is usually carried out by
>states. ItÕs the terrorism carried out
>by states. And states have resources that enable them to be far more
>violent and
>destructive than private terrorists. So the end result is that the
>terrorism of states far
>outweighs that of any other entity in the world. We constantly read that
>terrorism is the
>weapon of the weak. That is totally false, the exact opposite of truth.
>Like any other
>weapon, terrorism is used much more effectively by the strong, and in
>particular by more
>powerful states which are the leaders in terrorism throughout the world,
>except that
>they call it "counter-terrorism."
>Now we hear every day that there is a "war on terrorism" that has been
>declared by the most powerful states. In fact that war is re-declared.
>It was declared in 1981, twenty
>years ago. When Reagan administration came into office, it declared that
>the focus of US
>foreign policy would be state-sponsored international terrorism, the
>plague of the modern age; they declared that they would drive the evil
>out of the world. The war has been re-declared with the same rhetoric,
>and mostly by the same people. Among the leaders of the first "war
>against terror" twenty years ago are the ones who are directing the
>current "war against terror," with the same rhetoric and very likely
>with the same consequences.
>The focus of the first war on terrorism was Central America and the
>Middle East. And both of those regions were scenes of massive terrorism
>in the 1980s, the major part of it, by
>far, conducted by the US and its clients and allies, on a scale with few
>recent precedents
>in those regions. There is no time to go through the details, but in the
>Middle East for
>example, the most extreme terrorist act by far was the Israeli invasion
>of Lebanon -
>supported, armed, backed by the United States -- which killed about
>20,000 people for
>political ends. There wasnÕt any pretence. It was openly recognized in
>Israel to be a war
>to promote the US-Israeli policy of assuring effective control over the
>territories. And thatÕs only one example of the terrorism in the region
>that was either
>carried out directly or decisively supported by the US, exceeding other
>cases by a
>substantial margin.
>In Central America, the Reagan administration at first attempted to
>follow the model of John F. Kennedy in South Vietnam, which would have
>meant attacking Central America
>directly, using chemical warfare and napalm, bombing with B52s, and
>invading with
>American troops. But they had to draw back from that intention, because
>the population
>of the US had become considerably more civilised in the twenty years
>that intervened,
>through activism, protest, and organization. Therefore the Reagan
>administration had to
>withdraw from direct outright aggression as in South Vietnam, and
>instead turned to
>international terrorism.
>They created the most extraordinary international terrorist network
>that the world had ever seen. When a country like Libya wants to
>conduct a terrorist act, they hire an
>individual like Carlos the Jackal. When a big powerful state like the US
>wants to carry out
>international terrorism, it hires terrorist states: Taiwan, Israel,
>Argentina under the
>neo-Nazi generals, Britain, Saudi Arabia. Other terrorist states carry
>out most of the work, along with local agents. The US supplies the
>funding and the training and the overall direction.
>The effects were horrendous: hundreds of thousands of people killed,
>every imaginable kind of torture, everything you know about from
>Southeastern Turkey in the past ten
>years. And it finally succeeded in crushing popular resistance. There
>was also a kind of
>"clash of civilizations" involved, to borrow a currently-fashionable
>phrase: the US was
>fighting against the Catholic Church. The Church had made a grave error:
>it had adopted
>"preferential option for the poor," a commitment to work for the benefit
>of poor people,
>the vast majority. That was unacceptable. The war was to a large extent
>directed against
>the Church. The terrible decade opened with the murder of an archbishop.
>The decade
>ended with the murder of six leading Jesuit intellectuals. In between,
>many priests, nuns
>and layworkers were killed and of course tens of thousands of peasants
>and workers,
>women and children, the usual victims.
>The terrorism was so extreme that it even led to a condemnation of the
>US by the World Court for international terrorism, and an order to
>terminate the crime and pay
>reparations. There was also a supporting resolution of the Security
>Council of the United
>Nations, calling on all states to observe international law, directed to
>the US, as everyone
>understood. The World Court decision was simply dismissed with contempt
>and the war
>was immediately escalated. The Security Council resolution calling all
>states to observe
>international law was vetoed.
>All of this is gone from history. It is history, but it is not the
>history that we hear. Since the same war was re-declared on September
>11 -- by many of the same people, with the
>same rhetoric - there have been endless reams of paper devoted to the
>new "war on
>terrorism," but you will have to search very hard to find any reference
>to what happened
>during the first "war on terrorism" that the same people carried out.
>ThatÕs gone, and itÕs
>gone for very simple reasons: Terrorism is restricted to what they do to
>us. What we do
>to them, even it is a thousand times more horrible, doesnÕt count and it
>ThatÕs the law of history as long as history is written by the powerful
>and transmitted by
>educated classes who choose to be servants of power.
>Let me turn to the Middle East. The British of course ran the Middle
>East for a long time. They were the dominant power, and they had a
>framework for controlling the region. At
>first it was controlled by direct armed force. But after World War I,
>Britain was weakened,
>and it was no longer in a position to rule the area by direct force. So
>it turned to other
>techniques. The military technique it turned to was the use of air power
>to attack
>civilians. Air power had just become available, so Britain began bombing
>civilians with
>aircraft. Also it turned to poison gas, primarily under the influence of
>Winston Churchill,
>who was a really savage monster. Churchill, as colonial Secretary,
>ordered the use of
>poison gas against what he called "uncivilised tribes": thatÕs Kurds and
>Afghans. He
>ordered the use of poison gas against these "uncivilised tribes"
>because, he said, it will
>cause a "lively terror" and will save British lives. ThatÕs the military
>side. ItÕs worth
>remembering that poison gas was the ultimate atrocity after World War I.
>The details of this we are not going to learn. The reason is that ten
>years ago the British government declared an "open government policy,"
>to make the government more
>transparent so the people, citizens could learn more about it. The first
>act of the open
>government policy was to remove from the Public Records office all the
>documents having to do with the use of poison gas against the
>uncivilised tribes. So that history is gone.
>There was also a political side to the control of region. The British
>concept was to create what they called a "Arab fa?ade": that means weak
>states that would depend on British
>for support and would serve as a "constitutional fiction" behind which
>the British would
>exert actual rule.
>When the US displaced Brtain it essentially took over the British
>model. The region is to be run by an Arab fa?ade of weak, corrupt
>states, which rely on outside support for their
>survival; they are to administer the region. In the background is the US
>with its military
>muscle when it is needed. And the US has a kind of attack dog, which is
>called "England,"
>and sometimes seems as much an independent country as Ukraine was under
>Soviet rule.
>Its main function is to carry out the services it learned during its
>centuries of experience
>- the services described by the leading British statesman Lloyd George,
>who wrote in
>secret that "We have to reserve the right to bomb the niggers." ThatÕs
>important, and
>thatÕs the British role when the master need some assistance, or the
>pretense that it is
>acting for the "international community" - a term that means the US and
>whatever other
>country agrees to go along.
>The US did add an innovation. It added an intermediate level of
>peripheral states, states that would be "local cops on the beat" in the
>words of the Nixon Administration, who
>used the American idiom: the "local cops on the beat" are the police who
>are working in
>the streets. In this case, the "local cops" are subsidiary states.
>Police headquarters is in
>Washington. Turkey was the first one. Turkey is the "local cop on the
>beat," with the task
>of ensuring that the Arab fa?ade is protected from their own population,
>the most
>dangerous enemy. Turkey was one of these, Iran under the Shah was
>another. After 1967,
>when Israel destroyed the centre of Arab nationalism, it joined the
>alliance. Pakistan was
>a member for a long time. The idea is to have non-Arab states that are
>militarily powerful,
>and can protect the Arab fa?ade from indigenous forces that have strange
>ideas: for
>example, the idea that the wealth and resources of the region should go
>to them, instead
>of going to rich people in the West and their local associates. Such
>ideas are called
>"radical nationalism" and they have to be suppressed: by the "local cops
>on the beat," who
>have the first responsibility, and if they are not a sufficient threat
>then the US and the
>attack dog move in, using the local cops as bases.
>Oil was the primary reason for the concern over the Middle East. There
>is now a secondary reason, which is quite important. ThatÕs water,
>which is enormously important, and will be even more so in the future
>as water resources are being depleted. Here the role of Turkey becomes
>even more essential, because Turkey, and particularly the southeast
>region of Turkey, is the major source of water for the region. And
>control over water also provides what US planners 50 years ago called
>"veto power," just like control over oil. If you can terminate the flow
>of water to other countries, that will bring them into line. ThatÕs
>presumably a significant purpose of the dams and other projects: to
>ensure that control over water will be in hands of US clients, which
>will ensure control
>over the region and probably a veto power over recalcitrant elements.
>The enormous US support for the massive atrocities of the 1990s in this
>region, which are some of the worst in the world in this period, is
>based on the role of Turkey within the
>US system of domination of the region. ItÕs not out of love of the
>Turks. It is out of love
>for the services that Turkey can perform in the region. If Turkey
>succumbs to "radical
>nationalism" - that is, independence - it will suffer the same fate. The
>same is true of US
>support for Israel and other client states. If they perform their
>function they are fine. If
>they get out of line it will be different. We see that right next door
>in Iraq. As long as
>Saddam Huseyin was only gassing Kurds and torturing dissidents and
>massacring people on a huge scale, he was just fine. Britain and the US
>continued to support him. After his
>worst atrocities they even continued to provide him with the means of
>weapons of mass destruction, along with aid and assistance that he badly
>needed, until he
>made a mistake: he disobeyed orders. ThatÕs unacceptable, so he
>therefore has to go,
>probably to be replaced by some similar figure. And the same is true for
>other client
>states. They are acceptable no matter how many atrocities they carry out
>as long as they
>continue to fulfil their functions within the world system: to ensure
>that the rich and
>powerful receive what they deserve, namely the wealth of the region and
>its resources
>and markets, and so on.
>LetÕs turn briefly to the last topic: September 11th. What we hear
>constantly is that after September 11th, everything changed. There is a
>good rule of thumb: if something is
>repeated over and over as obvious, the chances are that it is obviously
>In this case, after September 11th very little has changed. Policy,
>goals, concerns and interests of the great powers remain as they were.
>There have been some changes. For
>one thing, there is now a window of opportunity for harsh and repressive
>throughout the world to pursue their policies with increased intensity,
>exploiting the fear and concerns of their populations, and expecting
>support from Washington.
>As always repression elicits resistance, and thatÕs true in this case
>too. In the US, contrary to what the headlines and intellectual
>commentary tell you, since September
>11th the population has become more open, more questioning, more
>dissident, more
>involved in protests, more concerned with ongoing developments. The same
>is true
>worldwide. Two weeks ago there was an international conference in
>Brazil, the World
>Social Forum, which brought together about 60,000 people from around the
>world, from
>popular movements, farmers, workers, environmentalists, womenÕs groups,
>all kinds of
>people. They organized many very serious and constructive forums and
>devoted to major problems of the world. This is the core of the
>worldwide popular
>opposition that is designing, and seeking to implement, programs that
>run counter to the global policies of transferring even more wealth and
>power to hands in which wealth and power are already concentrated.
>The same is true right here. In Turkey, both Turks and Kurds are
>resisting courageously, working for changes that will make the society
>more open, liberal, free and just. They are
>a model that Western human right activists admire and should learn from.
>They are
>providing an inspiring example of what can be done under extremely harsh
>conditions to
>overcome repression and state violence to create a more decent and
>humane society.
>Their struggles and their goals are an inspiration for others to do
>more. And again, thatÕs
>why it is tremendous privilege and honour personally for me to stay with
>you for a few
>days here.
>As you know Kurdish language has been suppressed in Turkey, and is has
>been kept out of the educational system. What is the relationship
>between personal identity and the
>mother tongue? On the one side there is widespread use of English as a
>global language,
>and on the other there is a revival of local languages as a
>counter-trend to globalisation.
>In this context, how do you assess the revival of native languages in
>Europe and
>In Spain under the Franco regime, the local languages were suppressed.
>People could not speak Basque or Catalan, or other languages. And they
>are separate languages, not Spanish; Basque is not even related to
>Spanish. After Fascism was overthrown, there was a
>revival of these languages, which of course had never disappeared.
>People still spoke
>them in their homes, with their friends when the secret police was not
>listening. And
>they revived. I will tell you a personal experience: one of my daughters
>was living in Spain
>after the fall of Franco regime. She was living in Barcelona, and when I
>was in Europe
>speaking I went to visit her. This was two years after the fall of
>Franco, and there wasnÕt
>a sign of Catalan. Everything on the streets was Spanish, the signs were
>Spanish, everyone on the street spoke Spanish, just travelling there you
>would not know that the language of the people was Catalan. I went back
>five years later and there was no Spanish, there was only Catalan: the
>street signs were Catalan, the books were Catalan, the school
>system was Catalan, the language just revived. The same thing is
>happening in the Basque
>country and other places. And elsewhere, for example, inside the UK. So,
>Welsh for
>example, was not heard much not very long ago. Now if you go to Wales
>and listen to
>children coming out of the school, they are talking Welsh. The language
>has been revived.
>It is a part of a healthy movement within Europe away from the
>nation-state system
>towards what is sometimes called a "Europe of the Regions," a federation
>of regional areas with their own language, culture, political autonomy
>within a bigger federation. And thatÕs extremely healthy. What the
>questioner said about personal identity is quite true. Your personal
>identity is very closely tied to your native language. If this is a
>language which is not permitted to be freely used for communication, for
>talk, for expression, for literature, for song, for any purpose, thatÕs
>an infringement on your fundamental human rights. And it diminishes you
>as a person. Therefore it has to be preserved and recovered, and this
>can be done, as is happening in many places. The question of what will
>happen to local languages is a largely a matter of choice, not a matter
>of historical forces that are out of control. There was no way of
>predicting that Welsh would again become the language of the people of
>Wales, their literature and so on.
>There was no way of predicting that. It happened because they chose to
>achieve that result. Regionalization is taking place in Europe in
>reaction to the centralization of the
>EU. And I suspect that reaction to the centralization of whatÕs called
>"globalisation" will
>also include a revival of local languages, cultures, interest groups of
>all kinds, for example
>feminist groups that donÕt have any geographical boundary. But that has
>to be achieved.
>Nothing is going to happen by itself. It has to be achieved like all
>other human rights by
>dedication, commitment and struggle. Otherwise it wonÕt happen.
>As for English becoming an international language, thatÕs a separate
>matter. ItÕs a matter of who has been dominant. English is a world
>language because England and the US
>conquered the world. As the world becomes more diversified, and I
>suspect it will, there
>will be other languages of international communication. ThatÕs quite
>apart from the
>question of the revival and the vitality of the regional and local
>cultures, languages, and
>literatures, and so on. These developments can quite go on quite in
>How do you define the notion of "freedom"?
>I would not even try. ItÕs a fundamental basic concept that we
>understand but we canÕt define. We understand such concepts, but canÕt
>hope to define them in words. We
>define them by our actions and by our commitment. Freedom is what we
>make of it. If we
>stand against repression, authority and illegitimate structures, we are
>expanding the
>domain of freedom, and thatÕs what freedom will be. ThatÕs what we
>create; there is
>nothing to define in words.
>In the "new world order" of US hegemony, under what kind of treats is
>the notion of "culture"?
>ItÕs a matter of will and choice. History doesnÕt have natural laws the
>way physics does. It depends on what people decide and choose. ThatÕs
>why nobody can ever predict
>anything. If you look at the record of prediction in human affairs, you
>find they canÕt
>predict anything. The main reason is that too much depends on will,
>determination and commitment. So what will happen to cultural freedom
>under new
>global conditions depends on what people like you decide to do. If you
>create and
>maintain vital and vigorous independent cultures, theyÕll exist. If you
>decide not to, if you
>want to just listen to Brazilian soap operas and drink soft drinks, they
>will disappear. But
>there is a choice.
>You are a US citizen who know to say "NO!". We read from your
>biographies that you have been an anti-systemic dissident since you are
>ten years old. What is the secret in
>The secret is very simple. For hundreds of years in the US, as
>elsewhere, people have been struggling hard to enlarge the domain of
>freedom and justice and there have been
>successes. And the result is that people like me are lucky. We can enjoy
>the privilege of
>enjoying the freedom that has been won. These are not gifts, they are
>not in the
>Constitution, they are not in the Bill of Rights. James Madison, one of
>the main founders
>of the US system said that a "parchment barrier" will not defend against
>repression. Take
>any nice words you like, you have to give them their meaning, and the
>meaning is given by struggle and commitment. And it has been done over
>the centuries to a very significant extent. The result is that people in
>the US have freedom to a larger extent. The secret is to have a history
>behind you of people who dedicated themselves to creating a relatively
>free society. ThatÕs the secret.
>What do you think, is the role of US in Kurdish Problem in general and
>in the handing over of Kurdish leader to Turkey by an international
>conspiracy, in particular?
>The US has a role in just about anything that happens in the world. It
>is the most powerful state in the world. It is concerned with
>developments here and it is
>undoubtfully involved in Kurdish affairs. Not just here, the same in
>Iraq. For example, the
>US supported a Kurdish uprising in Iraq, back in the early 70Õs, until a
>certain point came
>when an Iranian-Iraqi deal was made and the US decided to sell the Kurds
>out, and they
>were slaughtered. After that Henry Kissenger, who was in charge, was
>criticised in
>Congress for having first supported the Kurdish struggle and then
>abandoning them when they were no longer useful, resulting in slaughter.
>He made a famous comment, which was something like this: "Foreign policy
>should not be confused with missionary work." The same has been true
>here, in a particularly shameful way in very recent years.
>As you know the Kurdish opposition turned to peaceful means of
>struggle. What do you think about this new policy?
>You know better than I do. This is not the first time. In 1993, a
>ceasefire was declared by the Kurdish opposition. The EU tried to
>pressure Turkey to respond constructively to it.
>Instead, the Turkish government, with crucial US support, escalated the
>war. That led to
>years of further atrocities and destruction. There is now another move
>towards a
>peaceful political settlement. ItÕs the right move in my opinion. The
>question arises what
>will be the reaction of the Turkish government, and this heavily depends
>on the US. Will
>there be constructive reactions? We have to try to make that be the
>case. As people in
>US, we have to try in our own way. It can develop further. ItÕs the
>right direction, and I
>think it will lead to a fruitful outcome.
>As you know, there is a "Meeting of Civilizations" in Istanbul, where
>Kurdish civilization has not been represented. This meeting is supposed
>to be an antithesis to the "Clash of
>Civilisations". What is your opinion about the thesis of "clash of
>The fact that the Kurdish civilisation was not represented is for the
>same reason as the fact that Palestinian civilisation was not
>represented, or any other repressed group.
>These are meetings of powerful states and other powerful forces in the
>world. They donÕt
>represent anyone but themselves, and furthermore they donÕt represent
>civilisations. The lives of the Saudi Arabian elite probably center in
>London, and that is where they belong. ItÕs probably where they will
>flee if there is an internal uprising they canÕt control. They have
>little relation to the people of Saudi Arabia, just as the ruling elites
>of other countries have little relation to their own population. The US
>government, for example, certainly does not represent the US population.
>The population in US strongly opposes some of the most important and
>basic policies pursued by the government, which therefore have to be
>pursued in secret. The talk about civilizations is mostly propaganda.
>As for Islam being considered the enemy, that is surely not true. In
>the 1980Õs the major foreign policy issue in US that dominated all
>discussion was the wars in Central America,
>and these were wars fought against Catholic Church, not Islam. The
>Catholic Church in
>Latin America, after centuries of serving the rich, had moved towards an
>effort to serve
>the poor, and at once it became an enemy. Many terrorist atrocities were
>against the Church. Was there a Clash of Civilizations? No. At the same
>time, US was
>strongly supporting the most reactionary Islamic state in the world,
>namely Saudi Arabia, which has been a US client since its origins.
>The US was also organizing the most extreme radical Islamists it could
>find in the world, because they were best killers, and was using them
>as weapons against Russia. Indonesia,
>the biggest Islamic state, was a wonderful friend ever since president
>Suharto took over in 1965 and carried out a huge mass slaughter killing
>maybe a million people, mostly peasants. He immediately became a great
>friend, and remained so while he committed some of the worst crimes of
>the modern era. In 1995, the Clinton administration described Suharto as
>Õour kind of guy.Õ True enough. The world does not break down into
>clashes of civilisations, it breaks down into power interests that cross
>languages and cultures, and mostly are fighting against their own
>populations. The notion of "clash of civilisations" became popular after
>the end of the Cold War when some new propaganda framework was needed in
>order to mobilize people. It does not mean anything beyond that.
>What is the probability of a US attack on Iraq? How will this effect
>Turkey and the Kurds?
>This is an important issue that is in the agenda nowadays. There are
>two kinds of reasons for a possible US attack on Iraq. The first is
>domestic, internal to the US. If you were an
>advisor to the Bush administration, what would you say? Would you say,
>"try to focus
>peopleÕs attention on the Enron Scandal, and the fact that the proposed
>tax cuts for the
>rich will undermine all social programs and will leave most of the
>population in serious
>trouble? Is that what you want the people to pay attention to, policies
>like these?
>Obviously not. What you want is for people to be frightened, to huddle
>under the
>umbrella of power, not to pay attention to what you are doing to them
>while serving the
>interests of narrow rich and powerful sectors. So you want to have a
>military conflict.
>ThatÕs the domestic side.
>In the international side, Iraq has the second largest reserves of oil
>in the world. The first is Saudi Arabia, Iraq is the second. US
>certainly will not give up control of this huge
>source of power and wealth. Furthermore, right now, if the Iraqi oil
>were to come back
>into the international system, it would be largely under the control of
>Russia, France and
>others, not US energy companies. And the US is not going to permit that.
>So we can be
>pretty confident that one way or another the US is trying to ensure that
>Iraq will
>re-enter to the international system under US control. Now, how do you
>achieve this?
>Well, one plan, and this plan has been discussed in Turkey as you know,
>is for the US to
>use Turkey as a mercenary military force to conquer Northern Iraq with
>ground troops
>while the US bombs from 20,000 feet, The compensation for Turkey could
>be that it will
>get control of the oil resources of Musul and Kerkuk, which it has
>always regarded as part of Turkey. And for the US, that will block its
>enemies -- Russia, France and others -- from having privileged access to
>the oil of that region. Meanwhile the US will take over the South in
>some fashion.
>What happens to the Kurds?
>I hate to think about it. It will probably be a terrible slaughter of
>one kind or another. They will be right in the middle of this. For
>Turkey, apart from the question of right and
>wrong, it would be a very dangerous move. And itÕs a very dangerous move
>for the US as
>well, if only because it could blow up the whole region. It could lead
>to a revolution in
>Saudi Arabia. Nobody knows.
>Elements of the Bush administration are pursuing these and similar
>plans, and you can see the logic. Whether they will be allowed to
>implement such plans is another story. IÕm
>rather sceptical. I think the arguments against it are probably too
>strong. But they donÕt
>know themselves, and surely no one else can.