Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good Kurds/Bad Kurds Comes to Adelaide

"South Australian barrister and former magistrate Brian Deegan, who lost his son Joshua in the Bali bombings, says the state's Labor government should be ashamed for expressing its sympathy for dead terrorists. The criticism came as the Turkish embassy yesterday rejected the government's defence for its attendance at a memorial service for 3 female militants of the banned terrorist organisation, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)... In her Adelaide memorial service speech, [Multicultural Affairs Minister Jennifer] Rankine paid tribute to the members of a group proscribed by the federal government as a terrorist organisation that has kidnapped Westerners and bombed places frequented by civilians and tourists... Yesterday, Mr Deegan... said the government's position was disgraceful. 'The Premier should know that you cannot defend the indefensible - there has been an error of judgment by the Premier, Mr Atkinson and his partner, Ms Rankine,' Mr Deegan told The Weekend Australian. 'They should not have attended that memorial and they certainly should not have suggested it was on behalf of the government of South Australia, who represent the people of this state,' Mr Deegan said. The South Australian Kurdish community yesterday welcomed Labor's support for their 'freedom fighters'." (Terrorist sympathy 'shameful', Michael Owen, The Australian, 9/2/13)

Looks like the 'terrorism experts' over at Murdoch's Australian's have gone and roped the unwitting Mr Deegan into playing the old Good Kurds/Bad Kurds game. Now in case that's a new one for you, allow singer-songwriter David Rovics to enlighten you... and maybe Mr Deegan too, if he's listening.

Here are the lyrics to Rovics' song, Good Kurds, Bad Kurds:

Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurdish people
Killed thousands in a single day
And twelve long years later
Uncle Sam said 'You can't treat your Kurds this way
And furthermore all Kurds are freedom fighters
Who resist this Iraqi tyranny
And Uncle Sam will give them guns and maybe sometimes ammunition
So the brave Kurds can fight until they're free'

Meanwhile in southeastern Turkey
The Turkish Army had a unique plan
We'll go in and burn down 3,000 villages
Get rid of what they call Kurdistan
Well some of these pesky Kurds decided
That they would rather fight instead of die
So Uncle Sam said, 'You are terrorists
Because Turkey is our ally'

Geopolitics is confusing 
In fact, it can be quite absurd 
Especially if you value your freedom 
You live in Turkey and you are a Kurd

Yes, when Iraqi Kurds are massacred
We say this is genocide
OK, we armed the Army through the 80s
But now we proudly take the Kurdish side
But in Turkey it's an internal matter
And for us to get involved would be wrong
So we'll sell some tanks and 'copters to Ankara
And hope these poor folks can get along

Yes, geopolitics is confusing
And you can't take the Yankies at their word
At least that's distinctly how it looks
If you live in Turkey and you're a Kurd

So when they talk about American interests
And it sometimes seems that they're not yours
Going all over the world
Bombing countries and starting up wars
You'd better leave it to the experts
Go on back to your playstations
'Cause our foreign policy only makes sense
To CEO's of multinational corporations

'Cause geopolitics is confusing
And if you feel like you're not being heard
Just imagine how much worse it could be
If you lived in Turkey and you were a Kurd

Now I referred above to the 'terrorism experts' at the Australian, and you'll note that my scepticism was indicated by my use of inverted commas. But why, you're probably asking, apart from the fact that the Australian is to news what Eddie Obeid is to serving the community, am I picking on the paper?

Well, you see, in the same issue of the paper, there's a book review by Ross Fitzgerald of Robert M.Utley's biography of Geronimo. In it, Fitzgerald notes of the famous Apache warrior:

"[B]esides stealing stock and other forms of plunder, Geronimo's raids on Mexicans and white Americans often involved butchering large numbers of people. Indeed, 30 years of such systematic and barbaric slaughter of men, women and children, often involving torture and mutilation, Utley cogently argues, form a major characteristic of Geronimo's complicated persona."

And then, in his final sentence, Fitzgerald writes: "The fascination with this man who became a symbol of Native American resistance, and of a conquered culture, remains."

Seems that, for the Australian, as long as you're some long dead native warrior resisting the implacable onslaught of a rampaging colonial-settler state, then you're a freedom fighter. If however, you're a contemporary native warrior resisting the implacable onslaught of a client of history's most powerful settler-colonial state, especially in the Middle East, then sorry, your just a bloody terrorist and that's that!

Would someone - anyone - at the Australian please clear this one up for me?


Anonymous said...

MERC': Completely off-topic but potentially very interesting. Have you been able to find out anything about prisoner X and the very damaging State secrets that he threatened to expose?

By the way, for those who complain about the use of Anonymous, I chose this option because I don't trust Google or any of the other 'social networks'.

Cheers g

MERC said...

I only know what's appearing in the media. I'm posting Ruth Pollard's article from today's SMH and an excerpt from a shorter report in the Australian.

I'm wondering if the story's connected in some way with the stolen Australian passports scandal.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe it could be anything as trivial as that - something already in the public arena. There are some interesting comments and speculation at http://www.richardsilverstein.com/

Cheers, g