This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Tyrants and Dictators

"The tanks fire all day and we have nowhere left to hide."
"People are dying in their own homes. Our schools and our infrastructure has been destroyed. There is no difference between what is going on here and next door in Iraq and Syria."
Nurettin Kurtay, Kurdish teacher, Cizre, Sirnak province, Turkey

"It's a different world here. The east of the country is burning and it feels like no one here has noticed."
"What people here in the west do not realize is that we are one step away from a civil war."
Engin Gur, Kurd, Istanbul, Turkey
Militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or P.K.K., guard a barricade in Sirnak, Turkey. Credit Cagdas Erdogan/Associated Press

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan despises Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for his intolerance, his brutality, his unstoppable violence against his own population. Of course, Assad is an Alawite Shiite, and his military has been killing Syrian Sunnis who have protested against the unequal treatment their Islamic sect has been treated to by the regime. Assad responded by calling them all scum and terrorists. And since he regarded them as terrorists and not citizens he attacked.

Turkish Kurds have agitated for a very long time for autonomy for themselves as a distinct people. The Kurds have lived in areas now occupied in part by Iran, Syria, Turkey and Iraq since time immemorial. When the colonialist powers of Britain and France decided to partition the Middle East they overlooked the need for Kurds to rule themselves; effectively abandoning them to the disdain of those who ruled within the new borders.

A ceasefire that had put a stop to the mutual attacks between the Turkish military and the Kurdish militias was lifted when President Erdogan saw his Justice and Development party lose its majority status in an election that brought a Kurdish party allied with the Kurdistan Workers' Party to a significant position through electoral votes in Turkey's parliament.

Erdogan saw an opportunity to inflame Turkish public opinion against the Kurds before a follow-up election by engineering a renewed Kurdish revolt, the result of which was to bring him back to majority status so he could engineer a constitutional alteration that would permit him to remain in power past his mandated end of service.

While Erdogan doesn't recognize his vicious violence against the Kurdish population of Turkey as having any resemblance to Assad's murderous campaign against Sunni Syrians, the resemblance is there and it is starkly obvious. The volatile autocrat who screamed abuse at Israel for 'violating the rights of the Palestinians' and affirming support for terrorist Hamas dedicated to obliterating Israel from the Middle East is in fact no different from all the other totalitarian despots that thrive there.

Except that Turkey is a member of NATO. And that Turkey aspires to become a member of the European Union. And the counterinsurgency campaign that Turkey is waging against its Kurdish population represents yet another Middle Eastern blood campaign. Viewing the gains made by Syria's Kurdish militias as the Islamic State terrorists find themselves embattled in their bid to enlarge their caliphate, it's just as well to remember that Erdogan supported ISIL, and deplores the Syrian Kurdish alliance with Turkey's Kurds.

Just as Syria's butcher has made it his mission to starve out his Sunni civilian populations through sieges to augment barrel-bombing them, so too does Erdogan bomb towns in the province of Sirnak, and place them under siege. As the Syrian regime has murdered hundreds of thousands and created millions of refugees, so too has the Turkish regime created their own hundreds of thousands fleeing in panic from their destroyed towns and homes.

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