Thursday, October 11, 2007

Time for a will-you-condemn-a-thon?

Conor Foley has a nice pice on CiF about the risks posed by the possibility that the Turkish military will engage in cross-border pursuit against the Kurdish PKK. Of course, this would be a disaster for the Decent project since, as any fule kno, Iraqi Kurdistan is a kind of earthy paradise.* However the propensity of the PKK to spray civilians with machine-gun bullets does open the prospect of a good will-you-condemn-a-thon. After all, the Euston Manifesto does tell us:

We are opposed to all forms of terrorism. The deliberate targeting of civilians is a crime under international law and all recognized codes of warfare, and it cannot be justified by the argument that it is done in a cause that is just. Terrorism inspired by Islamist ideology is widespread today. It threatens democratic values and the lives and freedoms of people in many countries. This does not justify prejudice against Muslims, who are its main victims, and amongst whom are to be found some of its most courageous opponents. But, like all terrorism, it is a menace that has to be fought, and not excused.

The absence of condemnation of recent PKK operations by Hitchens, Nick Cohen, Aaro, Geras, HP Sauce, the Drink Soaked Trots, and sundry other Decents has been noted.

(*Any resemblance between the utopia that is Iraqi Kurdistan and early Israeli kibbutzim, Cuba, Nicaragua (at least their imaginary counterparts) or any other place that young Decents may have idealized their pre-Decent days is not co-incidental.)

13 Comments:

Blogger ejh said...

I'd like to condemn the practice of placing brackets inside other brackets.

10/11/2007 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

Is it so hard for Decents to Condemn PKK atrocities while calling for Restraint on the part of the Turkish Government, thus coming over as both Morally Upright and Mature Statesmen at the same time? I mean, they haven't been doing that yet -- but isn't it a safe bet that they will?

What they generally seem to want to keep quiet about is the human-rights-abusing pasts of the PUK and the KDP, but I haven't tended to notice Decent idolisation of the PKK in quite the same way.

Or am I missing something?

10/11/2007 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

(One of the HP minor-leaguers has stepped up to the plate...)

10/11/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In those far-off days before the invasion of Iraq, when reasons for invading were being scraped from the barrel, it was often suggested that Iraq might attack Turkey. This was rubbish: Iraq was only likely to attack Turkey if Iraq was itself attacked, but on this basis the USA prepared for the invasion inside Turkey by claiming that it was helping to defend Turkey. There was righteous indignation from the leadership of the two main UK political parties that France and Germany wouldn't go along with this and wouldn't allow NATO to get involved.

So now Turkey is being attacked from Iraq and is threatening to retaliate, and it gets a couple of paragraphs in most newspapers. Shurely shome mishtake.

10/11/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous rioja kid said...

re the HP piece: and a commentator is outraged that the STWC aren't marching against turkish aggression. The Willyoucondemnathon is ON.

10/11/2007 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Flying Rodent said...

Surely the Decents have backed themselves into a corner on this one?

If I recall, they believe firlmly that states have the right to defend themselves from motley terrorist groups by smashing the countries in which those groups originate.

I also recollect that they believe that any civilian casualties or damage to infrastructure that results is the fault of said terrorists, on account of their habit of hiding in the civilian population.

I'd love to say that a reverse-ferret of epic proportions is about to be launched, but I'm actually anticipating a lot of Yes, but-ing and a whole lot of Why aren't the SWP marching instead.

10/11/2007 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is an earthy paradise?

Have any of the Decents actually spent some time in these earthy paradises doing anything useful (organising literacy campaigns or digging wells for instance)? Have they ever spent any time in refugees camps or unsafe havens, like Foley seems to have done?

Just a thought.

10/11/2007 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

they believe firlmly that states have the right to defend themselves from motley terrorist groups by smashing the countries in which those groups originate.

Possibly, but this only applies to democracies and I'm not sure that it's a democracy if it elects an Islamic party.

10/11/2007 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous belle le triste said...

a fair while back, hitch described ocalan -- who i think he interviewed even longer ago -- as a "pol pot" type

10/11/2007 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous belle le triste said...

here it is

10/11/2007 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

Belle has it exactly - some moment soon, our domestic Decents are going to get the memo from Hitchens about the difference between the PUK and the PKK[1] and the reversals will begin.

[1] (Hitchens loves the former, hates the latter and couldn't give two shits for the WCPI who were regularly massacred by the PUK).

10/11/2007 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous redpesto said...

I thought Hitchens was 'relaxed' (not his actual term, but it'll do) about Kurdish independence (based on a past interview on Newsnight)?

To be honest, only the Decents, Bush and Blair wouldn't have seen this one coming: the Kurds have been repeatedly used as poster children/human shields for the pro-invasion cause, Turkey clearly doesn't fancy the idea of an independent Kurdish state on its border...and we've still got the vote on Kirkuk and Kurdish autonomy to come (or not) by the end of the year. Whichever way it goes, 'there's gonna be an eruption' (to quote the Long Good Friday) unless there's some pretty smart diplomacy.

(Pause)

No, I didn't think so either.

PS: The US Congress resolution on the Armenian massacre/genocide isn't going to help any either.

10/11/2007 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

PS: The US Congress resolution on the Armenian massacre/genocide isn't going to help any either.

yes, the timing is so studiedly mindless that I am casting round for some kind of shadowy motive, because some kinds of cock-up are more incomprehensible than conspiracy. I mean, it is a historical fact I suppose, but it's not exactly a secret that the Turkish Army go apeshit over this one.

10/11/2007 08:39:00 PM  

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