By David Edenden
Like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football held by Lucy, I naively expected a hard hitting account of Turkey's repression of its Kurdish minority. Not to be measured with the suffering of Armenians during the First World War, but quite bad, none the less.
Instead we have a lone limp wristed comment that the Turkey should be nicer to its Kurdish minority.
What about Nato? Turkish minority rights values are Nato values, by definition since Turkey is a Nato member. Where is the condemnation of Nato.
The Kurds, like the Macedonians in Greece (see Human Rights Watch) have been subject to systematic cultural genocide since both Turkey and Greece entered Nato. A subject, at least regarding the Macedonians of Greece that Hitchens remains silent, notwithstanding the many opportunities he has had to include it in his reporting in the Balkans.
Before Nato bombed Kosovo, Albanians enjoyed far more rights than the Kurds of Turkey and the Macedonians of Greece. Maybe Nato should also have bombed Athens and Ankara to secure their rights. We would now be talking about independence for Turkish Kurdistan as well as Kosovo. Why not?
Hitchens has always taken the opportunity to take a swipe against Macedonians, but has never discussed their mistreatment as a minority in Greece, all the while droning on and on about Cyprus. Maybe its was part of the divorce settlement with his ex-wife (a Greek Cypriot) that he should urinate, in public on, Macedonian ethnic identity.
Hitchens has adopted the "realist position" of US foreign policy by deciding who gets the elevator and who gets the shaft.
Hitchens has always reminded me of being the Oliver Reed of journalism. My wife and I were in England watching "the tele" a few years ago, before Reed's death. Reed came on the TV looking puffed, disheveled and glassy-eyed, praising the merits of some liquor or wine. I turned to my wife and said there is only one word that can adequately describe him ... debauched.
Divide and Conquer: The United States should be squeezing Turkey, not the other way around.Monday, Oct. 29, 2007
So, let us be clear on a few things. The European Union, to which Turkey has applied for membership with warm American support, has insisted on recognition of Kurdish language rights and political rights within Turkey. We can hardly ask for less.
If the Turks wish to continue lying officially about what happened to the Armenians, then we cannot be expected to oblige them by doing the same (and should certainly resent and repudiate any threats against ourselves or our allies that would ensue from our Congress affirming the truth).
Then there remains the question of Cyprus, where Turkey maintains an occupation force that has repeatedly been condemned by a thesaurus of U.N. resolutions ever since 1974. It is not our conduct that should be modified by Turkey's arrogance; we do a favor to the democratization and modernization of that country by insisting that it get its troops out of Cyprus, pull its forces back from the border with Iraq, face the historic truth about Armenia, and in other ways cease to act as if the Ottoman system were still in operation.