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Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan

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Subject: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 09:28 PM

The following is an impelling commentary by Noam Chomsky (forwarded to me via email from a dear friend in Dublin) which you may find of value:
Noam Chomsky on a Recent Tour in the Turkish Misruled Kurdistan
His Address and Q. and A. in Amed March 31, 2002< p>

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 one's 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 one's 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 adversity.

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 -- an 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 can't give that advice. I'm 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.

It's 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.

That's is true for everyone, even the world's 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 legitimate 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 it's someone we don't like, it is terrorism. If it's 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. It's 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 wasn't any pretence. It was openly recognized in Israel to be a war to promote the US- Israeli policy of assuring effective control over the Israeli-occupied territories. And that's 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.

That's gone, and it's 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, doesn't count and it disappears.

That's 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": that's 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. That's the military side. It's 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

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Amos
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 09:32 PM

(Sorry -- it was longer than i thought! A.)

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." That's important, and that's 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. That's 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. That's 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. It's 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 developing weapons of mass destruction, along with aid and assistance that he badly needed, until he made a mistake: he disobeyed orders. That's 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.

Let's 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 false.

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 elements 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 that's 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, women's groups, all kinds of people. They organized many very serious and constructive forums and discussions 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, that's 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 elsewhere? 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 wasn't 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 that's 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, that's 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 what's called "globalisation" will also include a revival of local languages, cultures, interest groups of all kinds, for example feminist groups that don't 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 won't happen.

As for English becoming an international language, that's a separate matter. It's 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. That's 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 parallel.

How do you define the notion of "freedom"? I would not even try. It's a fundamental basic concept that we understand but we can't define. We understand such concepts, but can't 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 that's what freedom will be. That's 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"? It's a matter of will and choice. History doesn't have natural laws the way physics does. It depends on what people decide and choose. That's why nobody can ever predict anything. If you look at the record of prediction in human affairs, you find they can't predict anything. The main reason is that too much depends on will, choice, 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, they'll 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 this? 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. That's 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 70's, 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. It's 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. It's 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 civilizations?" 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 don't represent anyone but themselves, and furthermore they don't represent civilisations. The lives of the Saudi Arabian elite probably center in London, and that is where they belong. It's probably where they will flee if there is an internal uprising they can't 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 1980's 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 directed 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 'our kind of guy.' 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 affect 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 people's 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.

That's 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 it's 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. I'm rather sceptical. I think the arguments against it are probably too strong. But they don't know themselves, and surely no one else can.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 11:44 AM

Anyone know the standard tuning of a saz?(Serious question, thought someone who looks at this thread might know)

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 12:42 PM

Chomsky is turning into Sapir/Whorf in his old age...

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 01:00 PM

What a remarkable load of horse. Big thinkers like this amuse me. History is a fascinating endeavour, like archeology, but with the dig peppered with false artifacts. Big thinkers like this can start with the premise that all history is bunk, and then expound at will.

I'm not saying it wasn't fascinating and stimulating reading. However, it's also a great mental exercise to identify items that are unsubstantiated, and unsubsantiat-able. Or to identify flaws in logic.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: GUEST,guest oj
Date: 03 Apr 02 - 04:23 PM

then why don't you identify a few of these items you mention? and perhaps expound on why this is a load of horse, as you put it.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Troll
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 12:29 AM

Typical Chomsky. Very erudite. But it's always Americas fault. Chomsky never REACHES that conclusion; he STARTS with it.


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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 12:49 AM

Thank you, Amos. It is very rarely (almost never) that I get a chance to read the bare truth, in a society where it is anathema, where it is virtually inconceivable to the majority, and where the media are owned by the very people who have made it so through a barrage of mythology and disinformation.

It has been utterly clear to me for several decades now that the USA has been committing and sponsoring state terrorism and non-state terrorism on a scale that exceeds anyone else's endeavours in that regard. This has not, of course, been very evident to US citizens, because they don't hear about it in those terms, and they would not support their government for long if they did hear about it in those terms...given the fact that ordinary Americans have a strong sense of fairness and justice.

It is equally clear to me that state terrorism (terrorism by organized national governments) exceeds non-state terrorism (by people like Al-Queda or Hamas or the Tamil Tigers or the Zapatistas, etc.) by a tremendous margin...yet it is not called terrorism (unless it's committed by a non-state group OR a "rogue state" other words, a state that the USA doesn't agree with about something substantial.)

To put it another way, a rogue state is one that's not playing ball with the big boys that are running the international show.

It's spectacular doublespeak. A secret terrorist group kills 35 people, or even 3000 people...and it's called "terrorism" (which it defintely is). A government allied with America such as Turkey, the USA itself, Indonesia, Iraq, El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel, Russia, China, and many others...undertakes policies, aggressions and police actions which kill tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or even a million or two...that ruins the lives of tens of millions or even hundreds of millions...and it's called "counter-terrorism" or "fighting for freedom"! That is if it is called anything at all, since it may not get much news coverage.

And so the uninformed, the complacent, and the lied-to on the streets of Ameirca go about their daily shopping at the mall...and are flabbergasted when someone finally attacks American home soil in a serious way.

Unfortunately, it has brought a lot of them (no longer so complacent!) onside to support even worse terrorist actions in the name of a completely phony "war against terrorism" that is not any such war at all...since it has been launched by the best armed and best organized terrorist organizations in the world: namely the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NATO, and various others I could name...but won't.

It wouldn't do any good anyway if I did. Those who are not inclined to listen to anything like this will certainly not be convinced by me if Noam Chomsky can't convince them. He's way more knowledgable on this subject than I ever expect to be...and more articulate in explaining it.

Thanks again for the post, and God be with all of you in the USA and elsewhere...I'm not kidding when I say that. We all face the same dangers now. It's a smaller world than ever in 2002, resources are diminishing, and the few who skim off the profits are hungrier than ever, it seems. I've no doubt they would set out to conquer Mars and Venus with the same immoral and ruthless appetite if they could only get there.

By the way, I'm not accusing the USA alone of this. Most of their key allies and competitors (such as they are these days) do it too to what extent they are able to. The USA is just the kingpin, that's all. Everyone else amounts to no more than a supporting player since the Warsaw Pact fell.

Small fish terrorist groups who lack a national government and modern military equipment are today what they always were...mere wretched little bit players, the battlefield equivalent of natives with spears in their hands...and a really handy excuse for a nice, convenient, and thoroughly winnable war where the "good guys" lose barely a man, and the "terrorists" lose everything.

Gotta use those stealth bombers and Blackhawks for something, before they get too many miles on 'em...

God the British must be envious! The world was their apple too not so very long ago, and all it took was ships of the line, bayonets, and Martini rifles, fortified by limitless arrogance.

The empire loyalists of their day would have hooted derisively at someone like Chomsky too, as he rained on their imperial parade. The truth was simply unthinkable to most of them. That hasn't changed.

- LH

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 01:36 AM

Neither has the arrogance, LH!!

Thanks for the thoughtful remarks.


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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 04:01 AM

As a good kneejerk liberal like Chomsky I feel Ishould agree with him about everything, but doesn't he make it hard? His analysis of the Welsh language situation seems so wide of the mark, so conditioned by a minority-American world view, that you start wondering "does he really know anything about Kurds". And his casual writing-off of Britain as a terrorist state just feels wide of the mark (I've just been own a very suburban street to buy the Guardian and I spent last night having a singsong with some Kurdish refugees). I could go on and take up a lot of his points, but frankly if I can see how how spectacularly wrong he is about things I know about personally, why I should I take him seriously on subjects I don't know about ? (I say all this with a feeling of sadness, as I take a broadly identical position to Chomsky on human rights, regional autonomy etc etc. I just wish he wouldnt weaken his position by talking ludicrous bollocks all the time).

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 12:35 PM

Well, those are interesting comments, Greg, and I will give them some thought. I am always willing to consider an alternate viewpoint, if it is expressed in a relatively dignified and sane fashion. You may have some good points there. I find that not just Chomsky's, but virtually all Americans' thinking is severely restricted by their habit of seeing things from a "minority-American world view" (the view that America essentially is the main part...or the important part...of the world...and everything else is merely a subsidiary effect or aspect of that reality. It's the characteristic attitude most noticeable in Americans, to anyone who is not American.

Mind you, all other nationalities tend to suffer from this self-absorbed and misleading mental habit too...although it is usually more pronounced in the population of a great power than that of a minor one.

It leads to all manner of misunderstandings and atrocities. A good example of that is how militant Israelis recognize terrorism in an instant when it is done to them by others, but are absolutely blind to its existence when doing it themselves, under the auspices of a government and a uniform which they regard as legal and righteous.

- LH

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 04:45 PM

Now I am pondering your Logic, Little Hawk. greg stephens and rude guest have very similar opinions. You will not consider the viewpoint rudely (or bluntly) expressed, but you are willing to consider mr. stephens' same viewpoint politely expressed, with dignity. Does this mean the truth is in the telling?

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 05:41 PM

Thanks, Amos. Chomsky's Turkish publisher, Fatih Tas, got into some trouble with the Turkish govt. earlier this year over publishing Chomsky's views on on Turkeys mistreatment of the Kurds. Chomsky went over there to support Mr.Tas, and he was acquitted last month.

Good article, even with the Welsh part. :)

---Lepus Rex

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 06:17 PM

The Noam Chomsky Archive

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 07:36 PM

GUEST(last one who posted): Chomsky writes politely. So does little hawk,normally, though a little unbalanced on thesubject of William Shatner. Nowt wrong with common civility. Mind you, get me on my hobby horse....By the way, my referring to Chomsky's views as "minority American" referred to him as part of an American minority, not to America as a minority in the world.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 09:22 PM


Well, GUEST, it's not an absolutely ironclad rule, it's a general tendency, that's all. The most important thing is the actual content of the argument, rather than the style in which it is couched, but the style of delivery usually does provide some indication of whether or not there's any use talking to someone at length about a given issue.

For example: If someone starts shooting at me, I assume it's not the right time to "talk", but rather to take cover, defend myself, etc...(I'm talking about an individual here, NOT all his relatives, neighbours, and countrymen, by the way. I don't assign guilt by association.)

If the guy is shooting at me, I assume he doesn't really want to talk, at least not at that moment.

If someone starts swearing and waving his fist in my face, I likewise assume it's not a fruitful time for analytical discussions. Best to wait till he calms down.

But I prefer talking to fighting, any day, and I'm always willing to talk to whoever is willing to talk to me.

Bluntness does not bother me. Passionate and divergent views do not bother me. Outright personal abuse does create some doubt in my mind as to the usefullness of continuing a serious dialogue with someone.

Does that help clarify it?

In the case of militant Palestinians and Israelis, it seems they would rather fight than talk, mostly because they have decided that the other guy is "evil" and not worth talking to in the first place. Besides, they're busy getting even for past grievances...a process that never ends until at least one side simply stops repeating the cycle and decides to talk, instead of terrorize.

The Israelis are under one unified command, which makes it far easier for them to be the ones to stop first. They are also far stronger militarily, however, which makes it rather unlikely that they will do so. People who are comfortable with the use of force do not tend to quit using it while they're ahead, and while there are gains yet to be secured.

It's the classic problem. The strong use force because they CAN. The weak use force because they appear to have no other option, as far as they can see, since the strong are not impressed by anything except force...or the threat of force. Ask yourself why India and Pakistan, in the face of endemic poverty, are wasting their national energies building armies and atomic bombs with which to slaughter and terrorize each other.

It's all very, very sad.

- LH

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 09:25 PM

McGrath - something's wrong with that link you provided.

- LH

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 09:27 PM

Ask yourself how many millions of dollars M. Arafat invested in arms rather than education or business or infrastructure?

I was told a quote from an interview with one of the Palestinan officers or officials who said of the Israelis, "We have found their point of vulnerability. They love life. While we love dath!". Apocryphal, sterotyping, grossly over-geralized kind of thinking. But it does point to some grain of truth in the paradigms of those who will strap bombs to their chests and die for the glorification of a bad idea!


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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:46 AM

Oddly enough, some Indians used to say that about the US Cavalry too (their point of vulnerability being that they loved life and feared death...), but I only mention it for interest's sake, not to necessarily make a point of comparison about the Middle East.

The Japanese in World War II had the same fatalistic notion, and it is a philosophy not necessarily tied to religion per se, but more to an honor code in that case. (Of course such an honor code is a religion in a sense...but then, what fervent belief system is not?)

There's no question that Islamic warriors are more eager to die for the cause, and that Israelis are more pragmatic. I believe that can make either one of them equally dangerous, but it depends on the particular circumstances...the Israelis are far better equipped for exercising their dangerous capacity at the moment, and they do not need suicide bombers to strike effective blows.

Of course Arafat spends lots of money on do all the other key players. Who does not? They all do it to "defend" themselves! (Ha, ha...) In fact, ask yourself how many millions of dollars almost everyone worldwide has invested in arms rather than education or business or infrastructure? Therein lies the tale of hunger, poverty, warfare and waste.

I'm not defending Arafat. He practices terrorism on frequent occasions. So do the people he's fighting against, and so do the people who are backing them.

One big unhappy family, I'd call it, united in their desire to dominate or destroy one another.

I look at them all like a visitor from some other planet (a more peaceful and united one), and say...

"Hell, they're all human...why can't they just get along with each other?"

- LH

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: thosp
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:48 AM

try this blueclicketything to get to the Noam Chomsky archive

peace (Y) thosp

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 03:07 PM

Thanks thosp - I was just going to put in a corrected link. The rule is of course, when you post a link, check it, and I normally do.

Another thing Little Hawk didn't say is that when you post with a name attached (or a pseudonym) it's an inducation that you might be intersted in an exchange of views. When you post just as GUEST the assumption is likel to be that the poster is merely interested in getting whatever they have to say off their chest, and that they probably aren't too interested in anything someone might want to say in reply.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: BH
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 07:29 PM

I heard Naom Chomsky's interview---among the many he gives--on a local NYC radio station. He makes a few---very few--valid points.

There is fault, certainly, on many sides. Having said that I would hope that his comment about Israel as a "terrorist" state is taken by those who know something about history as pure "hogwash" Go back to 1948 (1947) and recall the events. Also recall the events of 1967. Also recall 1973 (Yom Kippur)

Fighting terrorism is not an exclusive right of the U S.

But, deeper and more nefarious things are involved. Mostly they involve the Bush family and the supporters of them---and their oil interests. Think Carlyle Group, Bush(the elder) involvement with a Canadian company that has ties to a convicted felon of the contra/arms affair. A Middle Easterner. Bush, the elder pardoned this felon---and then joined his board of directors.

The point is that there are large grey areas here. The average person---American, Israeli, Palestinian, and any other national you care to name is, as always, a pawn in the power and wealth play of the "empowered".

Some research will explain a few things to all. See what you can find out about an oil pipeline through Afghanistan that will be fed with the riches of the Caspian Sea oil. Research why the Afghanastinan war started when it did and why no reports were ever issued about investigations how the 9-11 disaster was allowed to happen. Oh, we heard about why the bldngs failed---what about how security failed? Or did it?

You might also want to find a book written by a commentator on the BBC (an American)---The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. It is not Gospel, but it might make you ask a few questions---

So,---the folk content---I bet Phil Ochs might have asked those questions. I hope so.

Bill H

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: BH
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 07:32 PM

An addendum---one has to really salute the drivers in this land of SUVs flying their American Flags---there is patriotism afoot---burn that oil from the middle east and fly your flag/

John Prine is right---Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore

Bill H

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: toadfrog
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 12:47 AM

What does Kurdish folk music sound like? Anyone know? Are there good places to hear it?

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 01:25 AM

Hello, BH. One question...

How could anything at this point, other than an extremely rigid mental bias based on one's own past and one's own specific cultural identity, cause anyone NOT to see Israel as a terrorist state?

I believe the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations would back me up on that...not on the record officially, perhaps, in those exact words (that's considered too...provocative), but the whole world knows that it is's as bloody obvious as the nose on Jimmy Durante's face! The emperor clearly has no clothes! This parrot is dead!!!

This is not to say that Israel is not also the victim of terrorism. It is.

Terrorists frequently attack other terrorists...or their civilian population, since they are easier to find. In fact, it's the rule rather than the exception in this world that terrorists fight terrorists.

I think you will be hard put to find a group of terrorists anywhere in this world who do not think that they or their people have not been subjected to some form of terrorism first...that is generally why they became terrorists! Whether they do it under the auspices of a national government or as an underground organization doesn't matter in the least....except as regards the available firepower...governments have more of that.

I am saying that both Israel, the nation-state...and the Palestinian bombers and snipers who attack Israel...are terrorists. Mutually. They are both terrorists and they are both busy terrorizing each other's civilian populations by the most effective means at hand.

So, yes, there are many gray areas, to be sure...

- LH

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: RichM
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 09:55 AM

Everyone is surprised and dismayed when humans go to war. Everyone thinks there are less violent ways to resolve differences.

Sometimes war is inevitable. Philosophically, ethically, morally,Western culture is reluctant to go to war--until they are directly attacked. In western culture, it's considered cowardly and unethical to target civilians directly. In arab and muslim cultures, anything is fair in war. Examples? The Iraqi repression of Kurdish dissent; Saudi Arabia,Syria,Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Afghanistan, Turkey, Jordan...etc, repression of their native dissidents. Dictatorship is the governance of choice in these societies.
Objectively, one has to say that it's human nature to war. You don't agree? Name me ONE period in history without war! Now, if war is a "normal" part of human societal relationships, what can we do to eliminate it, or at least minimize it's awful effects?

I think that as the world moves toward a universal civilization, a kind of supra-policing methodology will come to be. It will incorporate aspects of traditional policing, military, economic and political tactics.

One of the first aspects of civilization that will be examined-or should be- is religions' role in causing war.
Belief systems are based on faith...and faith is open to interpretation and error. Communal religion-as opposed to individual ethical systems, must be accountable to the world community when it's beliefs translate into unethical activity.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 12:03 PM

Rich - Name me one period in history without peace. Peace is far more common than war, and it is my assertion that the nature of human beings under most normal circumstances IS to be at peace. War just makes better press copy, as do all disasters, so you hear about it. You don't hear much about peace.

A general tendency toward peace, not war, is the nature of almost every human being I have ever met in my life. The few exceptions to that are generally in a medical facility or a jail by the time they have reached adulthood.

War is an extraordinary circumstance that generates great attention....the same as murder...or a fistfight. Peace is the normal state of human existence that prevails most of the time in most parts of the world.

This is so easily proven that I see no point even providing specific examples...

- LH

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: BH
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 06:48 PM

With response to Little Hawk's to my comments---further back.

Bill Clinton may want to define the word "is". I suppose we should define "terrorism". Remember that the UN in 1948 passed a resolution on Israel---all hell broke out from the Arabs. (That is in reply to your thoughts on the UN and its thoughts on Israel's reaction)

Considering the state of the world---it may well be the U N is the Dead Parrot. That is sad.

My own belief is the closer the peace process gets to fruition the more the Palestinians create terror (suicide bombings) in the hopes of Israeli retaliation. And, the cycle continues. Remember that Arafat sank Camp David when there with Clinton/Barak.

Yes, there are zealots on all sides---remember that and Egyptian murdered Sadat and and an Israeli killed Rabin.

Elie Weisel may well have hit it on the head ==in an essay I heard on the air today---they are not fighting a war for the future---these two old warhorses are fighting past battles. We need younger leaders on both sides to leave history behind and start afresh (I paraphrase). However, as he points out, with the hatred taught in the Arab and Palestinan (and there is diffentiation--since even the Arabs do not welcome their brethren into their lands) education system one has to hope that moderate young people from all sides will be the leaders of tomorrow (which---my thought ought to be a tomorrow in real time).

Jordan's leader and his late father are perfect examples of just the type of leadeship that all interests in the area should be looking for.

But, always remember, there is more involved- three letters --OIL. The U S hands are not entirely clean in this entire scenario---the aid we give to the oil rich nations encourage a lot of this---and always recall too that as a buffer (or for whatever other reasons) Egypt is one of the largest recipients of our dollars---right after Israel.

Bill H

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 07:15 PM

"Having said that I would hope that his comment about Israel as a "terrorist" state is taken by those who know something about history as pure "hogwash" Go back to 1948 (1947) and recall the events..."Bill H

When we call someone a terrorist, we are making a judgement based on what they do. Going back into the history of it all and finding out where the roots of this way of behaving is relevant, and sensible, it's away of explaining it and understanding it. But it doesn't in anyway change that judgement of the person as a terrorist.

And the same applies to terrorism when it is practised by the government of a country. And on any reasonable definition of the word, Israel is a terrorist state. Assassination, torture, breaches of international law...

And there are reasons, a whole mass of reasons going back over all the years since 1948 - and well before. Just as there are a whole mass of reasons underlying the terrorism carried out by its opponents. But in both cases, the outcome of a terrible history has been to produce terrorist organisations and terrorist individuals.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 08:08 PM

Little Hawk hits it pretty squarely:

"I think you will be hard put to find a group of terrorists anywhere in this world who do not think that they or their people have not been subjected to some form of terrorism first...that is generally why they became terrorists!"

...when I was a kid, my brother & I used to squabble over 'stuff'...sometimes leading to blows and tears and recriminations.....and to intervention by parents. You all know what was said when we were asked what was going on...

we both said, "well, HE started it! ...and of course, we were both right. He ate my piece of candy, but I had left it for days...and then I drank his soda...and he bumped my knee when he walked by, and I pushed him, sure it was on purpose....and...and....

The Jews were persecuted for they 'deserved' that piece of the "Holy Land" (just ask them)...but the local residents weren't exactly asked their opinion or given much choice...they didn't have as many guns, so they threw rocks a lot...etc.etc...and a few soldiers shot a couple rock throwers ("we were PROVOKED")...and then rising population made 'discussions' about settlements get pretty loud...and "our" Holy sites are being infringed on...and ....and... it's obvious..THEY started it! ....

and yes, those two old men are obviously still fighting old battles...whether it would REALLY be better with them gone is not clear...(anyone listen to Netanyahu recently?)

*sigh* Nietzsche said..."Human, all to human"

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 09:24 PM

BH - Agreed. We have two old warhorses fighting old battles, and that is not good. And you are absolutely right about the oil...oil and water...those are the things that matter most strategically in the Middle East. The largest oilfields are in Saudi Arabia and Iraq (which also are probably the 2 worst dictatorships in the whole is an American client, and the other one used to be, until Saddam made one little mistake in judgement). The largest supplies of water are in Turkey. Best to keep those considerations in mind at all times when trying to decypher American policy in the Middle East.

My definition of terrorism is simple: Terrorism is organized premeditated violence, or the threat of such violence, inflicted by one group of people on another group of people for the purpose of securing some sort of material or other gains for the first group of people at the expense of the second...or merely for the purpose of securing vengeance (which is seen as a sort of emotional gain, in a twisted sense).

Such terrorism is customarily considered more heinous when it falls on civilians...which it almost invariably does, sooner or later, if not at the very outset. It remains heinous even when it doesn't fall on civilians, in my opinion. It is organized murder and oppression on a large scale.

Every major power in the world, and most minor powers as well, have been guilty of terrorism from time to time throughout their history. They like to dress it up with glorious-sounding names like "Manifest Destiny" or "the White Man's Burden" or " the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere", etc...

So...when powerful "legal" authorities (such as a nation, a police force, an army, or a company boss and his hired thugs, the strikebreakers) practice terrorism against the relatively powerless, it is called "law enforcement", "war", "ethnic cleansing", "restoring order", "advancing civilization", "opening up the frontier", "winning souls for Christ", "slaying the infidel", and various other misleading labels like that.

This usually results in retaliatory terrorism from the people who are directly affected. The legal authorities then refer to those people as "terrorists", because they're not members of the "club", if you know what I mean...the ruling elite. It's a very convenient use of language, from the point of view of the powerful and well-armed, isn't it?

- LH

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 09:51 PM

I would like to add a somewhat more specialized use of the word "terrorism" to the definitions already given. Although I have no dispute with those previous definitions. But I think this category of terrorism is worthy of note...

When a person, a group of people, or a government uses the threat of violence or death as a way of instilling fear in people in order to control them.

One example of this form of terrorism is the "you're either for us or agin us, and if you're agin us, we'll make you suffer" line that is being used by the US government in order to force other nations do our bidding in the "war on terrorism"

Another example of this form of terrorism is what is being done to journalists in Israel right now. Journalists who have been covering events in Israel in the last several months have been threatened with violence and even death when they have written things that the Israeli Government doesn't like.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 10:37 PM

My own belief is the closer the peace process gets to fruition the more the Palestinians create terror (suicide bombings) in the hopes of Israeli retaliation. And, the cycle continues. Remember that Arafat sank Camp David when there with Clinton/Barak.

It could be argued that the Israelis have done exactly the same thing (assinations, attacks on Palestinian civilians, as well as not honoring the agreements they make with the Palestinians), in the hopes of goading the Palestinians to resort to violence of their own, thereby giving the Israeli government an excuse for the sort of almost totally one-sided military operation it's engaging in right now in the Palestinian areas.

And there is plenty of disagreement, even among high level people in the US, about whether or not Arafat sank Camp David. Just today, I heard a high level American say that the Palestinians did not walk away from those accords, but continued to negotiate until finally Sharon walked away. I can't remember this person's name, but if I find it I will post it, along with any others I might run across.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: BH
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 06:49 PM

In reply to LH---those are wonderful insights and I must admit that on most points I agree with you. And, yes, Netanyahu is not exactly what I had in mind when I spoke of younger people. He is more in the mold of an American "hawk"---and a bit corrupt. As we all know from a few years back---nothing major, but the type of thing we have gotten from some of our own Congressmen and Presidents.

As to Carol C comments---I spoke of the Clinton meeting at Camp David. I did not refer to Sharon---so that is a bit out of left field. Arafat, on the other hand, has proved over much time to ---as the old westerns used to say---"...speak with forked tongue". (The westerns don't anymore---everyone is PC---by the way---do they still make westerns?)

Bill H

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: CarolC
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 06:56 PM

Not so out of left field, actually. The person I was quoting was saying that the negotiations were ongoing on the part of the Palestinians, even after the parties left Camp David, and they were ongoing until Sharon took office and then ended them.

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Subject: RE: Politics: Chomsky On Turkish Kurdistan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 07:40 PM

Well, here is what the man who was Israel Justice Minister at the time, Yossi Beilin has to say about it " December 2000, Mr Arafat had agreed to the Clinton peace plan, as had Mr Barak. Both men did so with reservations, and this act of compromise occurred at the height of the intifada.

"But instead of accepting the successful talks that had taken place between Israel and the Palestinians at Taba in Egypt in January 2001 as a way towards a final settlement, Ariel Sharon decided, after being elected prime minister, to terminate the peace process.

That link is to the thread where I posted that quote, and here is a link to the original article by Mr Beilin.

God knows what the truth is about all these things. The only rule is, always be ready to doubt anything you are told by someone who is paid to tell it to you.

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