Monday, October 24, 2011

What They're Not Telling You About The Earthquakes In Turkey

As you may have heard, Southeastern Turkey was rocked yesterday by massive 7.2-magnitude quake that has killed nearly 300 people. Hundreds of buildings are down and there are still many victims buried beneath the rubble.

Israel's president Shimon Peres called Turkey's President Abdullah Gul to offer his condolances and the help of Israel's expert rescue teams, who are only about 90 minutes away from the quake site by air. Gul refused. Instead, Turkey accepted help from Iran and Azerbaijan and refused all international help except from those two countries.

To find out why, we merely need to look at a map. The epicenter and hardest hit area is near Ercis, in the mountainous area inhabited primarily by guess who - the Kurds!

The same people the Erdogan regime has been steadily oppressing for some time.

And that's exactly the area where the Turks want no one seeing anything but the Iranians, who have their own issues with the Kurds! What a coincidence, eh?

Could it be that Turkey doesn't want any international observers getting a look at what's been going on there, or talking to the local people? Are they afraid of what they might find out? Are they worried about the Kurds gathering international attention and sympathy?

And would Turkey be perfectly fine with a few less Kurds around anyway?

Three guesses.

UPDATE: More on this from my pal Greg over at Rhymes With Right .

please helps me write more gooder!


Anonymous said...

Very interesting observation. I understand the day of the quake Turkey sent troops across the Iraq border and murdered dozens of Kurds too. Seems if you are an Islamist you can do anything you want...

B.Poster said...

As ruthless as this is, it is actually pretty smart public relations. The US should observe this and take notes. Perhaps there is something we can learn here.

Contrast the actions by Turkey with how the US behaves. Was it was wise for the US to allow human rights workers and various medai types to walk around Abu Ghraib with impunity? Was it wise to give these same people unfettered access to Guantanamo Bay?

Even if Turkey allowed such folks into the areas affected by the earthquake, why would they report things unfavorable to the Turkish government. To do such would require these people to take time out from their profitable full time jobs of bashing America and Israel!!

I can't really say for certain why Israel is despised, as I don't live there, however, it is really quite simple to explain why America is despised. Anti-Americanism is a hugely profitable enterprise that has little if any cost associated with it. In order to improve our image, which we must do, anti-Americanism needs to cost something and the profitablitly of such enterprises needs to be reduced.

Rob said...

The difference, Poster is that at Guantamano we had nothing to hide.

And putting the relatively mild hazing at Abu Ghreib with the actions of the Turks,who've been using chemical weapons and bombing Kurdish villages is frankly despicable,IMO.

B.Poster said...


For something where we had nothing to hide, we have sure taken abuse for this around the world. The truth of something really doesn't matter. What matters is how it is percieved!!

Even if we had sought to keep the whole thing secret we would have been bashed for this too!! Frankly, I'm not sure how to correct the problem of anti-Americanism at this point. Anti-Americanism has been allowed to go virtually unchecked without any kind of coherent response for decades.

If I might impose on your patience a bit, to use an analogy, if a 5ft 10in 300 pound man comes into an emergency room holding his chest screaming in pain we have a good idea what's wrong with him. Also, we know we know we are not going to be able waive a wand and fix all of his health problems over night. His condition to a long to get into and his recovery will take a long time as well and it will be a long hard slog for him even after his immediate problems are corrected. The same is true regarding America, specifically with its world image. The problem took decades to develop and it will likely take decades to correct. If we are going to get the kind of assistance we need to solve the myriad of challenges our country faces, we are going to need to improve our image.

Wtih regards to your last paragraph I could not agree more. I'm not the one whose making the comparision. Its being made by the media, human rights organizations, and world governments. In fact, if we were to ask representatives from any othe these groups, they would say America's actions are far worse than those of Turkey!! Comes back to image and the fact that anti-Americanism has been allowed to expand unchecked without any kind of coherent response for decades.

If this was in fact "mild hazing", then this treatment is better than what many pledges to college fraternaties receive. As anyone who has ever been a part of such things can attest, the hazing received by the pledges is most definitely NOT mild.

Even if this hazing was not mild, there are several factors that need to be considered. 1.)The enemy we face today in Islamic terrorists and the nations who support them poses a FAR GREATER threat to America than Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan ever did or likely ever could have. 2.)Many of the prisoners in Abu Gherib were captured on the battlefied while fighting this enemy mentioned in 1 or we believed they were assisting this enemy in some form or fashion.
3.)Given the situation in points 1 and 2, we had soldiers who were in many cases reservists with limited combat experience being tasked with having to guard some of the most seasoned and battle hardened warriors the world has ever known. 4.)Now add to this fact that many of the people who were being tasked with guarding these people had lost close friends in the fight on the battlefied to some of the people they are guarding. 5.)In addition, some of these people being held at this location had valuable information that we badly needed to hopefully prevent more of our people from being killed or maimed at the hands of this very lethal enemy.

Having considered these 5 points it should come as no surprise that, yes, these prisoners were treated a little rough sometimes. A little context to the situation would be helpful. This might be a good place for the American government to start out would be by explaining the facts I lay out. But again this problem took decades to develop and it will likely take decades to fix.

Until America's image is addressed, we are going to be extremely limited in what we can hope to accomplish in international efforts. As with any daunting project, the best time to get started is in the present with small steps. We must walk before we can run!! I sure wish the US government would hop to it on this!!

B.Poster said...

"The difference is Poster at Guantamano we had nothing to hide."

I would tend to agree we had "nothing to hide." Likewise the average US taxpayer who owns a s small business has "nothing to hide" from the IRS eitehr, however, the small business owner does ont invite the IRS to audit him or her. Allowing the media and human rights group unfettered access to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Gheraib is bit like a business owner inviting the IRS to audit them.

In allowing groups who are hostile to them this kind of access was either a very stupid move on the part of the US government or certain unscrupulous elements within the US governemnt who wish to harm the country's interests made sure these hostlle groups had this kind of access.

Rhymes With Right said...

Of course, B.Poster, innocents were not dying at Gitmo. Indeed, the guilty were being detained in conditions that exceeded what was required under US and international law.

But other than the fact that the two situations were so completely different as to be beyond rational comparison, they are exactly the same!

B.Poster said...

Rymes with Right,

I agree!! The situations are not the same, however, the media reports would indicate Gitmo is much worse. You see, at some point, the reality of a situation does not really matter. What matters is how people perceive it.

Apparently I'm having troube articulating this. Some time ago, Rick Moran of had written an article about this very kind of thing. The analogy he used was that of the "Hanoi Hilton" where American soldiers in the Viet Nam war were held prisoner. Essentially even though Gitmo is NOTHING like that in terms of cruelty the perception is that it is. This was several years ago that he wrote this. His point was that the perceptions about Gitmo had become so ingrained that it did little good to try and explain this. Today these perceptions are even more ingrained than they were then.

Given that the perceptions are so ingrained, I see little we can do that would alter this at this point. The enemy propaganda machine has simply had to much of a head start. Our best bet at this juncture is probably to close the prison down and release the people there, however, many of the people held there are among the worst of the worst as far as being our enemies, they are among the best fighters on earth, and they hate us with a passion!! Of course once they are released we will have to secure our borders and place a moratorium on immigration into the US to make sure those people are not able to enter our country. Its not a good solution to the problem but its likely the best we can do right now.

The article by Mr. Moran about the perceptions related to Gitmo was a very good article. I don't have time to look up the link right now, however, if you are interested you should be able to find it in the archives of