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  • #31

    No, Robert, It will Be Hypocrisy

    By Avedis Kevorkian, Philadelphia PA, 5 May 2008

    Robert Frost wasn't sure whether the world would end in fire or in ice, although he admitted that he was "with those who favor fire," but he did concede that if the world were "to perish twice. . .ice is also great and would suffice."

    However, were Frost alive today, I am sure that he would agree with my long-held belief that hypocrisy will be the death of the world, and I am confident that he would probably add two more lines to his poem: "But from what I see of today's world/it will be hypocrisy." Yes, all right, I am no Robert Frost; but, then again, who is?

    What has brought about these musing are a couple of recent reports which should have been front-page news in every newspaper, the featured story in every serious magazine, the lead story in every radio - and television-news broadcast.

    I refer to the 569-page report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) of its study of the human-rights situation in more than 75 countries in which it found that "The US, the UK and other western nations are ignoring flawed or rigged elections in some countries for the sake of political convenience," and also to the report that the European Union's former attorney general for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, in her recently-published autobiography, "The Hunt," indicates that if she had told the world the truth about the human-rights violations by the Kosovo Muslims against the Serbian Christians, Kosovo would not have been granted its independence.

    HRW's primary target this year was what it views as the hypocrisy of western nations condemning democratic violations only when expedient.

    "Rarely has democracy been so acclaimed yet so breached, so promoted yet so disrespected, so important yet so disappointing," HRW's executive director, Kenneth Roth, said in the report.

    "It seems Washington and European governments will accept even the most dubious election so long as the 'victor' is a strategic or commercial ally," Roth said, calling the promotion of democracy "a softer and fuzzier alternative to defending human rights." The countries cited in the Report won't be listed here, but look around to see who America's "friends" are and ask if any of them are the kinds of governments under which you would want to live. If your answer is "No," then you know the countries discussed.

    Among the crimes that Del Ponte now admits she knew about is how the present authorities of the independent Kosovo made money on trade of inner organs, taken out of the bodies of the kidnapped Serbs. According to Del Ponte, the leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (among whom is the present Prime Minister of the independent Kosovo, Hashim Tachi) committed atrocities, which are compared with the ones committed by Third Reich in the concentration camps. But, according to Del Ponte, prosecution of military criminals is tantamount to a political act. And, of course, we do not take a political stance regarding evil-doers, if they are our friends.

    Recall the words of Jeane Kirkpatrick, America's Ambassador to the United Nations at the time, about General Galtieri, of Argentina, "He may be a bastard, but he is our bastard."

    Interestingly, Del Ponte's book has come out after Kosovo independence--which, though a violation of the territorial integrity of Serbia, will not be a precedent for the independence of Artsakh, America insists. American foreign policy in these matters is driven by Ankara, and Ankara wants a Muslim country in Europe and eventually in the European Union and NATO, so Washington follows and declares that self-determination of peoples should apply in Serbia/Kosovo.

    But, since Turkey doesn't want an independent Artsakh, the principle of territorial integrity of a country should apply in Azerbaijan, so Washington follows.

    Many years ago, when I followed-up long correspondence with USELESSCO (as I call it) and spoke with the then Director General as to why his organization did nothing about the destruction by Turkey of Armenian culture and heritage in Turkey and Christian culture and heritage in occupied Cyprus, he replied "That would be provocative." What he meant, of course, was America would not approve any criticism of Turkey. When I asked if it were a Christian country destroying Muslim heritage what would his organization do, he walked away. His then Number Two, who was not party to the discussion but who was standing by, waited till his boss left, and said to me. "I'm with you." His successor has done nothing, either, but that is another subject.

    It is obvious--at least to me--that hypocrisy is so pervasive that it is not even recognized as a vice and is accepted as the norm.

    But it is not for nothing that the Litany from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer includes the following: "From all blindness of heart, from pride, vain-glory and hypocrisy. . .Good Lord deliver us."
    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


    • #32
      Very nicely written Avedis, thank you Joseph, and of course Dikran for sharing...
      [url][/url] - [COLOR="Red"]Armenian[/COLOR] [COLOR="Blue"]Genealogy[/COLOR] [COLOR="Orange"]Forum[/COLOR]


      • #33
        Very informative article from Zaman

        News National

        Turkish neo-nationalists and global ultra-nationalists form an axis of evil

        Neo-conservative scholar Michael Rubin addressed a forum on global leadership hosted by Bahçeşehir University in İstanbul last week (L). Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin (R), Workers' Party Chairman Doğu Perinçek (C), who was arrested recently in connection with a police crackdown on the Ergenekon gang, and former Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals Vural Savaş, are seen together in İstanbul in this photo dated December 2004 (R). Why would Gündüz Aktan, a former ambassador and a declared nationalist, refer to both Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) and Schmitt's staunch critic, Leo Strauss (1899-1973), in the same article as sources of inspiration to define the current domestic political struggle in Turkey?

        Aktan did this in his farewell article to the readers of the Radikal daily on June 9, 2007 and claimed that Turkey's situation coincided with Schmitt's view that politics is a struggle of different lifestyles that can be fatal. Schmitt is known to be the ideologue of National Socialism, and Leo Strauss was a Nazi survivor who immigrated to the US to become the theoretician of the neo-conservative ideology. What brought these two unlikely bedfellows together and made them a source of inspiration to Aktan was their uncompromising antagonism against liberalism. Schmitt believed that through its endeavor to reconcile opposites, liberalism was an effort to change the intrinsic characteristics of politics and Strauss believed in "the continuation of the existing hegemony" by any means necessary. Schmitt believed that war is a way to keep the current hegemony so it has to exist to prevent the spread of liberalism. Strauss believed that "noble lies," robust internationalism, declarations of emergency, immunity from accepted rules and laws and, finally, the aestheticization of violence were all legitimate methods to preserve the standing hegemony.

        Turkish neo-nationalists (Ulusalcı) do not have the intellectual depth of Gündüz Aktan, but their operational strategies overlap with those of Schmitt and Strauss to such an extent that it is unexplainable without a link between the various embodiments of the Ulusalcı ideology -- such as the Şemdinli gang, the Red Apple Coalition, the Ergenekon gang and the Republican rallies -- and the two conflicting ideologues of neo-conservatism. The link is in human form: Michael Rubin, Daniel Pipes, Matthew Bryza, Barry Rubin, Zeyno Baran and Soner Çağaptay (directly) and xxxx Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Robert Novak (less explicitly).

        The most visible link between the American neo-cons and the Turkish Ulusalcıs is the love affair between Rubin and the self-marginalized Turkish daily Cumhuriyet. Rubin, an associate of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), is the inventor of the term "Islamofacism." In his articles in the Middle East Forum journal he has openly praised names like Serdar Akinan, Tuncay Özkan and Nihat Genç and compared Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to French racist Jean-Marie Le Pen and Austrian fascist Jörg Haider. What is interesting and unacceptable about Rubin is the fact that though he has attacked Turkey after the March 1 memorandum with the worst of words, he was still invited to the War Academy in Turkey to give a conference. Rubin's claims about Fethullah Gülen reflect the rhetoric of the Ulusalcıs to the point that he uses Gülen's name in its distorted form (Fetullah), as is done by the Ulusalcıs of Turkey.

        For an anti-imperialist newspaper like Cumhuriyet, Rubin, a political strategist working with figures like William Kristol and Robert Kagan who are leading the openly imperialist Project for the New American Century (PNAC), should be the last name to be praised or used as a reliable source in their pages. But this fellow and Cumhuriyet have developed a fruitful relation wherein Rubin cites Cumhuriyet's distortions as a source and then Cumhuriyet carries them to its headlines as if they belonged to Rubin himself. This vicious circle of "referencing" is used by other Ulusalcı publications. Aydınlık weekly, for example, uses its relations with Andrey Melnikov of Nezavisimaya, a daily published by the Izvestia Group in Russia, and Yana Amelina, a foreign policy editor for the Russian News Agency, in the same way. They are informed directly by Aydınlık or through its grandmaster Doğu Perinçek's son Mehmet Perinçek, who has a post-graduate degree from Moscow, and later on Aydınlık refers to them as reliable sources of information about the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the future of Turkey, Islam and the Gülen Movement. These Russian names are expectedly from the supporters of the Eurasia Movement and have good relations with Mehmet Perinçek due to his active role in Eurasianist circles. The Moscow bureau of the Ulusalcıs is run by Mehmet Perinçek and, in a striking similarity to Rubin, they have also organized conferences in Turkey managing to reach the core of the secularist establishment.

        Political analyst Emre Uslu says that it is almost impossible to detect the organic links of the Ulusalcıs with the West because these people were the ones who once managed almost all relations between Turkey and the West. So their relations may be a continuation of old innocent relations. These relations are also hard to detect, according to Uslu, because they are being managed by institutions, think-tanks and academicians that have legitimate covers.

        The think tanks actively engaging the Turkish Ulusalcıs are AEI, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Hudson Institute. The institutional relations between the American neo-cons and the Turkish Ulusalcıs are run by the office of xxxx Cheney, Richard Perle of AEI and Zeyno Baran of the Hudson Institute on the American side and, on the other side, by Mustafa Süzer, former owner of Kentbank and a close associate of Perle, and İlhan Selçuk, "big brother" of Cumhuriyet. Süzer's meetings with xxxx Cheney were disclosed in the Turkish press and never denied by either side. Selçuk is also reported to have spoken with Cheney's advisors and established a back-channel with the US vice president's office through Elçin Poyrazlar, the Washington representative for Cumhuriyet. Writing in the Yeni Şafak daily, Taha Kıvanç claimed that this back-channel had already been established before the American occupation of Iraq and that Selçuk had promised the Americans Turkey's support in return for American neo-con support for the Turkish Ulusalcıs to come to power in Ankara.

        Cengiz Çandar claimed in a recent article in the Referans daily that the Ulusalcıs are using the pretext of a future American operation in Iran as an opportunity to convince the neo-cons that an Ulusalcı government in Ankara would serve them better.

        The think tank connections of the Ulusalcıs are working both ways: The Ulusalcıs receive tactics and information from the think tanks, and they also try to influence the American administration through the think tanks. One example of this reciprocity can be seen in the articles of the Washington Institute's Çağaptay, in which Çağaptay has not only labeled Turkey's AK Party government as a danger to Turkish-American relations, but has even guided former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on how to prevent the AK Party's further growth and Constitutional reforms. The Hudson Institute meeting in which the scenario of a possible military intervention in Turkey was discussed with two high-ranking Turkish generals in attendance is another example.

        This advisory connection is evidenced mainly in newspaper articles from neo-con writers. The Washington Times, The Washington Post and The New York Times frequently publish articles by the American allies of the Ulusalcıs. Figures like Rubin, Pipes, Jim Hoagland and Novak try to convince Americans that post-July 22, 2007 Turkey is no longer an ally of the US; that the AK Party government would feel better at home in Iran than in the US; that the AK Party uses the rhetoric of EU membership and economic development to conceal its real intentions; that the real allies of America in Ankara are the soldiers and the American should work with them alone; that Turkey should not be taken into the EU; and that Turkey will soon become a second Iran in the region. One protagonist of this last absurd idea is Rubin, who wrote recently in National Review Online that a prospective return of Gülen to Turkey would have the same effect as Khomeini's return to Iran from Paris and called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice not to support the AK Party government even in the name of democracy. Rubin was sarcastically critical of the American Ambassador in Ankara Ross Wilson, who managed to convince Rice to stand by democracy in Turkey, claiming that Wilson knew only partying in the garden of the embassy.

        Ulusalcıs also have allies in the US State Department. Richard Perle is said to have worked on the name of the Turkish Ulusalcıs to convince -- successfully - Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Dan Fried that the AK Party is no good for the American policies in or around Turkey. Ali Aslan, the Washington representative of the Zaman daily, thinks that this is the only explanation that could explain why Fried could not stand firm against the e-memorandum of April 27, 2007. It was also claimed that State Department diplomat Matthew Bryza, long-time boyfriend and, more recently, husband of Zeyno Baran, was the person who wrote the declaration read by Fried that gave the Turkish military the "green light" by saying that the Americans were not on any side of the discussion. The extent to which Bryza was influenced by his wife is not known, but the similarities in their rhetoric against the AK Party are striking. Baran, who was already a controversial figure due to her involvement in the infamous Hudson Institute meeting, her article in Newsweek that predicted a military coup in 2007 and her involvement with the colored revolutions in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Ukraine, is known to have given speeches on several occasions claiming that the AK Party would, in time, return to its Islamist roots and that the Turkish public voted for the AK Party on July 22 with the assurance in mind that the army would oust the AK Party if it tried to change the system in Turkey.

        Another channel for Ulusalcıs to reach American ears is the lobbyists that worked for Turkey in the past but lost their contracts with Ankara. These companies are contracted by Ulusalcıs because their names are already associated with that of Turkey. Ulusalcıs are even able to reach low-ranking employees of lobbyists that are currently working for Turkey. One such case is the Livingston Group, which campaigns against Armenian genocide allegations. Frank Gaffney, an employee of this company, wrote in a Washington Times article that Turkey should be kept out of the European Union.

        The Eastern connections of the Turkish Ulusalcıs are more detectable but smaller in number. Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin from the Eurasia Movement is well known in this regard. He even protested the recent arrests of Ulusalcı Ergenekon militants in Turkey and claimed that Ergenekon was a supporter of Russia in Turkey. He claimed that Veli Küçük was the mastermind of the military project to turn Turkey's face to Russia. Küçük, on the other hand, had activities organized around the Azerbaijan Cooperation Association. Sources following the Ulusalcı organizations claim that Doğu Perinçek's daughter, Kiraz Perinçek, who is at the head of the Turkey department of Chinese Radio, and Adnan Akfirat, the head of the Turkish-Chinese Business Association, are working to create a rapprochement between Turkey and China.

        The Western and Eastern connections of the Ulusalcıs are a reflection of the pre-July 22 election alliance forged between the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in Turkey on a global scale, and these relations are no less paradoxical. Ulusalcıs want Turkey to close its gates to the world and to "continue their traditional authoritarian elitist hegemony" within these closed gates. But they are not powerful enough to close those gates from within, so they turn to their traditional enemies, "the American imperialists," to shut them in Turkey's face. The irony is that there are some Americans who are lending their ears to that call.
        General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


        • #34
 was only a matter of time.

          Armenian National Committee of America
          1711 N Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20036
          Tel. (202) 775-1918
          Fax. (202) 775-5648
          Email [email protected]

          June 4, 2008
          Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
          Tel: (202) 775-1918


          -- Speaker is Latest in Long Line of Former U.S. House Members
          Joining Firms Representing Turkey's Interests

          WASHINGTON, DC - Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) became the latest House member to join the army of Washington, DC public
          relations firms working to cover up Turkey's crimes, reported the
          Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

          xxxxstein Shapiro, LLP announced that the former Speaker joined their
          team in a press release last week. The firm, which represents a broad
          range of entities including General Motors, Kraft Foods and Pfizer,
          also represents the Government of Turkey "in connection with the
          development and financing by private sponsors of the Baku-Ceyhan oil
          pipeline and TransCaspian gas pipeline spanning from the Caspian Sea
          to the Mediterranean."

          According to an ABC News story, "Ex-House Speaker Hastert Finds New
          Home" by Justin Rood, a xxxxstein Shapiro representative "could not
          say whether or not Hastert would be working on projects involving that
          country." To read the complete ABC News story and to offer your
          comment on this coverage, visit:

          No stranger to Turkish American issues, as Speaker, Hastert led
          efforts to block Armenian Genocide legislation from passage dating
          back to October of 2000, when he withdrew H.Res.596, introduced by
          Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), from the Congressional docket just five
          minutes prior to its consideration. Speaker Hastert cited a letter
          from President Bill Clinton expressing concerns about the national
          security implications of the resolution. In his subsequent terms as
          Speaker, Hastert blocked a series of Armenian Genocide resolutions
          from reaching the House floor, despite widespread Congressional
          support and grassroots calls for legislative action. In 2004, when
          the House adopted an amendment to the foreign aid bill blocking
          Turkey's use of U.S. funds for lobbying efforts to deny the Armenian
          Genocide, Hastert's response was swift, joining with Majority Leader
          Blunt and Majority Whip Tom DeLay in sharply criticizing the measure:
          "Turkey has been a reliable ally of the United States for decades, and
          the deep foundation upon which our mutual economic and security
          relationship rests should not be disrupted by this amendment."

          In 2005, Armenian Americans joined with System of a Down band members
          Serj Tankian and John Dolmayan in a rally in front of the Speaker
          Hastert's Batavia, IL office urging him to allow passage of the
          Armenian Genocide Resolution. That effort was part of an eight- year
          ANCA national grassroots campaign urging then Speaker Hastert to allow
          Congress to have an up or down vote on the Armenian Genocide.

          Vanity Fair Cites Hastert Ties with Turkish Government

          An expose printed in the September 2005 issue of Vanity Fair revealed
          possible ties between Speaker Hastert and Turkish nationals geared to
          scuttle the Armenian Genocide Resolution. The magazine published a
          10-page story on FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, who was fired after
          "she accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving
          Turkish nationals." According to the article by contributing editor
          David Rose, Edmonds claims FBI wiretaps revealed that the Turkish
          government and its allies boasted of bribing - with as much as
          $500,000 - the Speaker of the House of Representatives as part of an
          alleged deal to stop consideration of the Armenian Genocide

          The article cited accounts by Edmonds regarding FBI wiretaps of the
          Turkish Embassy and Turkish groups such as the American Turkish
          Council (ATC) and the Assembly of Turkish American Associations
          (ATAA), including, "repeated references to Hastert's flip-flop in the
          fall of 2000, over an issue which remains of intense concern to the
          Turkish government, the continuing campaign to have Congress designate
          the killings of Armenians in Turkey between 1915 and 1923 a genocide."

          Rose is careful to point out that "there is no evidence that any
          payment was ever made to Hastert or his campaign." According to the
          article, "Hastert's spokesman says the Congressman withdrew the
          genocide resolution only because of the approach from [President]
          Clinton, 'and to insinuate anything else just doesn't make any sense.'
          He adds that Hastert has no affiliation with the ATC or other groups
          reportedly mentioned in the wiretaps.'"

          In 2007, the ANCA joined a broad cross-section of civil liberties,
          public policy and human rights groups in calling on the House
          Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in Congress to hold
          public hearings on the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. No
          hearings have been held to date.

          Former House Members Line Up to Support Turkey

          Ex-Speaker Hastert is the latest in a long line of former House
          Members who have joined firms on the Turkish government's payroll.
          Former House Minority Leader xxxx Gephardt (D-MO) and former House
          Majority Leader xxxx Armey (R-TX) at DLA Piper led efforts to block
          full House consideration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution
          (H.Res.106 / S.res.106) for an annual fee of $1.2 million. Former
          House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston of the
          Livingston Firm LLC, has, over the years, received over $12 million
          from the Turkish Government. He was recently let go by Turkey, and
          took on an even more lucrative agreement working for Libya.

          Turkey's efforts to buy influence in Washington DC and in U.S.
          academic circles was recently outlined in a powerful editorial and
          expose by David Holthouse in the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC)
          Intelligence Report. To read the SPLC analysis visit:

          SPLC Intelligence Report: State of Denial

          SPLC Intelligence Report Editorial: Lying About History

          General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


          • #35
            In a published letter to the economist. "Dr." Norman Stone, states that the bulk of specialist of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 deny there was ever a genocide.

            Turkish-Armenian relations
            SIR – It is very good to read (“A Caucasian cheese circle”, May 24th) that Turkish and Armenian businessmen are trying, across their closed border, to get something going, even if just a symbolic joint cheese (it is a species of Gruyère, apparently introduced in tsarist Russian times, and not bad).

            They need each other. North-eastern Turkey has been doing better in the past few years because of the Baku pipeline and the proposed Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway line, but would do better still if trade could be properly opened up. On its side, Armenia is a landlocked little country with a GDP per head one-quarter that of Estonia and which has seen a precipitous decline in population since independence (some of it through migration to Istanbul). Co-operation makes obvious sense.

            However, the Armenian diaspora has poisoned the relationship by its endless insistence on having this or that foreign legislative body, from Congress to Cardiff city council, “recognise” as “genocide” the tragic events of 1915. But the great bulk of specialists in the time and region, starting with Bernard Lewis at Princeton, are sceptical as to whether “genocide” is the right word for a tragedy in some degree provoked by the Armenian nationalists of the time. The most succinct statement of the problem comes in “The Chatham House Version” by the late Elie Kedourie of the London School of Economics. This is, as the Turkish government says, an historical matter that should now be left to historians. I am certain that Armenian businessmen, desperately anxious for better relations with Turkey, entirely agree.

            Norman Stone

            Revanchism: A word used by thieves who've gotten away with their crime.


            • #36

              Ex-House Speaker Hastert Finds New Home
              Former House Majority Leader Will Now Work for DC Lobbying Firm

              By JUSTIN ROOD

              June 3, 2008

              Former House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert settled in yesterday to new digs in the Washington, D.C. offices of xxxxstein Shapiro, a law/lobby firm.

              Republican Rep. Hastert gives his last speech from the House floor podium.
              Hastert was said to have been the longest-serving Republican House Majority Leader in history, holding the post from January 1999 to November 2006, when Democrats wrested control of the House away from the GOP in the midterm elections.

              Hastert's time as a leader on Capitol Hill was brushed by multiple scandals. Perhaps the most damaging came from Hastert's reported failure to act on knowledge of inappropriate contacts between then-Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., and teenaged former House pages, as confirmed by the House ethics committee's report on the matter. Hastert disputed the report's conclusion.

              A 2003 letter Hastert wrote aiding certain Indian tribes threatened to draw him into the Abramoff scandal; Hastert denied wrongdoing. ABC News reported in May 2006 that Hastert had come under investigation in connection with the Abramoff probe. Justice Department officials initially denied he was under investigation, but later said he was "in the mix." No charges were brought.

              In 2006, reporters and good government groups made hay over Hastert's involvement in funding a highway project, which helped him make $2 million when he sold land he owned nearby. Hastert's lawyer said there was no connection between the highway project and the land deal.

              A 2005 Vanity Fair article alleged Turkish groups and individuals at the Turkish Consulate in Washington, D.C. had discussed funneling tens of thousands of dollars to Hastert in exchange for political favors; his spokesman at the time denied Hastert had any knowledge of Turkish groups and had done no favors.

              Hastert's new firm has done work for the government of Turkey and Turkish companies, a spokesperson confirmed Monday. She could not say whether or not Hastert would be working on projects involving that country.
              General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


              • #37
                Originally posted by Joseph View Post

                Ex-House Speaker Hastert Finds New Home
                Former House Majority Leader Will Now Work for DC Lobbying Firm

                By JUSTIN ROOD

                June 3, 2008

                Former House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert settled in yesterday to new digs in the Washington, D.C. offices of xxxxstein Shapiro, a law/lobby firm.

                Republican Rep. Hastert gives his last speech from the House floor podium.
                Hastert was said to have been the longest-serving Republican House Majority Leader in history, holding the post from January 1999 to November 2006, when Democrats wrested control of the House away from the GOP in the midterm elections.

                Hastert's time as a leader on Capitol Hill was brushed by multiple scandals. Perhaps the most damaging came from Hastert's reported failure to act on knowledge of inappropriate contacts between then-Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., and teenaged former House pages, as confirmed by the House ethics committee's report on the matter. Hastert disputed the report's conclusion.

                A 2003 letter Hastert wrote aiding certain Indian tribes threatened to draw him into the Abramoff scandal; Hastert denied wrongdoing. ABC News reported in May 2006 that Hastert had come under investigation in connection with the Abramoff probe. Justice Department officials initially denied he was under investigation, but later said he was "in the mix." No charges were brought.

                In 2006, reporters and good government groups made hay over Hastert's involvement in funding a highway project, which helped him make $2 million when he sold land he owned nearby. Hastert's lawyer said there was no connection between the highway project and the land deal.

                A 2005 Vanity Fair article alleged Turkish groups and individuals at the Turkish Consulate in Washington, D.C. had discussed funneling tens of thousands of dollars to Hastert in exchange for political favors; his spokesman at the time denied Hastert had any knowledge of Turkish groups and had done no favors.

                Hastert's new firm has done work for the government of Turkey and Turkish companies, a spokesperson confirmed Monday. She could not say whether or not Hastert would be working on projects involving that country.

                Names and faces of lobbyists for Turkey
                General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


                • #38
                  A very insightful editorial:


                  FPIF Commentary

                  Why Are Neocons Attacking Turkey?

                  Avni Dogru | July 24, 2008

                  Editor: John Feffer

                  Some neoconservatives in Washington are obsessed with attacking Iran before President Bush leaves office at the end of this year. Hence, they have been pushing the Bush administration for increased economic and political isolation of Iran in order to weaken its current regime. Crucial to this plan is the support of Turkey, a traditional U.S. ally and an increasingly critical player in the region.

                  But to the enormous frustration of the neoconservatives, such an attack does not align with Turkey's interests given its newly enhanced regional ties, maturing democracy, and new foreign policy. Instead, Turkey plays the negotiator role and favors diplomacy and direct talks to resolve the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.

                  With neoconservatives pressing for an attack on Iran and Turkey maneuvering to play a mediating role, which way will U.S. policy swing?

                  Turkey’s Transformation

                  Much has changed in Turkey’s approach to foreign policy in recent years. When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, it quickly broke the old patterns of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey’s role evolved from an introverted peripheral country to a significant country with a regional and global influence.

                  According to this new policy, Turkey aims to play a more active and constructive role in developing relations with its neighboring regions and beyond. “As a major country with a historical and strategic depth in the midst of the Afro-Eurasia landmass, Turkey is a central country with multiple regional identities that cannot be reduced to one unified category. In terms of its sphere of influence, Turkey is a Middle Eastern, Balkan, Caucasian, Central Asian, Caspian, Mediterranean, Gulf and Black Sea country all at the same time,” said Ahmet Davutoglu, the intellectual architect of the new multi-dimensional foreign policy, during an interview on CNN-Turk on January 2, 2008.

                  A fundamental principle of the new approach is a “zero problems with the neighbors” rule, which has improved diplomatic relations with all of Turkey’s neighbors -- most notably Syria, Georgia, and Bulgaria – and boosted trade volumes as well. The share of Turkey’s trade volume with neighboring nations increased from 6% of the total foreign trade volume in 2000 to 35% in 2007.

                  In addition, a significant Turkish-Iranian rapprochement has taken place, not only because of Iran’s policy against the Kurdish separatists (PKK), but also because of Turkey’s growing energy needs. Trade volume with Iran alone increased from $1 billion in 2000 to over $8 billion in 2007. And in July 2007, the Turkish government signed an agreement with Iran to transport Iranian natural gas to Turkey and Europe and to develop the Iranian natural gas industry by investing $3.5 billion in its South Pars gas field. This figure reaches approximately $10 billion when other contracts, such as for electricity generation, are factored in.

                  Although Turkey’s enhanced ties with Iran and Syria have caused concern in certain quarters of Washington, this change – stemming from a transparent diversification of the Turkish policy – has not distanced Turkey from the West and Israel. However, Turkey’s clear lack of interest in isolating Iran has prompted neoconservative hardliners, led by former assistant secretary of defense Richard Perle, to undertake a smear campaign against the ruling AKP.

                  Neocon Attack

                  Frank Gaffney, Daniel Pipes, and Michael Rubin, three leading neo-con writers, have published pieces equating Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with far-right ultra-nationalist politicians such as France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, Austria’s Joerg Haider, and even Osama bin Laden. They have accused the AKP and Erdogan not only of having a hidden agenda to turn Turkey into an Islamic state, but also of paving the way for an Iranian-style Islamic revolution by Fethullah Gülen, a prominent religious leader known for his moderate and progressive views. Moreover, Rubin defended both the case to shut down the ruling AKP and the coup launched by the Turkish military last year as democratic. These accusations and assertions against the AKP government were harsher even than those made by the government’s own critics. Rubin’s arguments went largely ignored in Washington, since they are in clear conflict with U.S. foreign policy. However, they were more than enough to rally his friends in the Turkish military.

                  In addition to attacking the Erdogan government, Rubin claimed that Massoud Barzani, the president of the Regional Kurdish Government in Iraq, of selling U.S. arms to the Kurdish separatist group PKK. Rubin even went as far as to boldly suggest that Turkey should capture and imprison Barzani next to PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in the Turkish island prison of İmrali in order to stop the PKK terror. Once again, although not taken seriously in Washington, Rubin’s arguments were applauded in Turkey by the hawkish wing of the military general staff. His surreal arguments were reflected as “American expert opinion from Washington” in Turkey’s anti-AKP media outlets to create an illusion of international support for their cause.

                  The neoconservative campaign has had two main goals. The first has been to team up with non-democratic powers within Turkey, primarily some circles within the military as well as the state and the political system, to oust the democratically elected government. A less democratic Turkey with a more dominant and politically active military would be more susceptible to neocon pressure to support a U.S. attack on Iran. The second goal has been to strengthen the Israeli-Turkish alliance by boosting the influence of the more Israel-friendly military circles within the Turkish politics. Not surprisingly, in order to strengthen the position of the military in Turkish society, the neoconservatives have not hesitated to support something the Bush administration has been desperate to avoid: opening another front in the Iraq War by supporting a possible Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to hunt down PKK terrorists..

                  Neoconservatives have had a deep and continuing interest in Turkey. In the past, Richard Perle has been involved in some lucrative consulting deals and has made some very high-level friends in Turkey. In 1986, he became the co-chair, along with the Turkish general staff, of the U.S.-Turkish consultative defense group. From 1989 to 1994, he worked as an adviser for the International Advisors Inc. (IAI), a lobbying firm started by Douglas Feith and registered as Turkey’s foreign agent with the Justice Department. Perle is also known as the key architect of the Israeli-Turkish alliance of the late 1990s. This alliance has resulted in close military cooperation between the two countries, and Turkey has been an important customer of Israel’s defense industry.

                  Shifting Geopolitics

                  Despite speculation that Turkey’s importance to the United States would decrease after the Cold War, Turkey remains pivotal to U.S. security interests. The United States depends on Turkey in an unstable region that intersects the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus as well as Central Asia. Turkey has continued its close cooperation with the United States through both NATO and the UN. It cooperated in the missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan and has participated as well in several key peacekeeping missions such as Sudan and Lebanon. It hosts the Incirlik Air Base, which provides logistical support missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Seventy percent of U.S. air cargo bound for to U.S. troops in Iraq goes through Incirlik.

                  But Turkey is no longer dependent entirely on the United States for its geopolitical position. It has demonstrated a willingness to position itself as a regional and global power. In addition to economic and military power, the appeal of Turkey’s soft power has increased thanks to its political and economic domestic reforms and its new perceived image in the neighboring regions as a good example of the coexistence of Islam with democracy and modernity.

                  Turkey has been playing a key mediating role in several conflicts, including those between Syria and Israel, between Palestine and Israel, and in Lebanon. Syria and Israel just had their third round of indirect talks under Turkey’s mediation in Istanbul. Similarly, the Ankara Forum had several meetings so far and brought the private sectors of Israel and Palestine together to work on possible rapprochement. The Ankara Forum also hosted a meeting between the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres before the Annapolis summit in November 2007. After the 2006 Lebanon war, the AKP government decided to send 1,000 troops – one of the largest contributions – to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon despite harsh domestic opposition. Also, during the recent Lebanon crisis in May 2008, Turkey played the mediator role between the Shia opposition and the Sunni establishment thanks to its good relations with both parties. Its balanced policy toward each group also secured Turkey an active role in bridging the Sunni-Shia divide in Iraq in 2007. It has similarly worked behind the scenes in Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan on peace-building efforts. In fact, Turkey is now the only country that enjoys good relations with every country in the Middle East.

                  Turkey’s willingness to engage hasn’t just been limited to its immediate region. As a result of Turkey’s opening to Africa in 2005, the African Union declared Turkey a strategic partner after China, India, and Japan in January 2008. More importantly, Turkey is now a UN Security Council candidate for 2009-2010; this is an important position where Turkey can use its current experience as a promoter of stability and democracy on a broader level, especially in bridging the divide between East and West.

                  Turkey’s good-neighbor policy doesn’t extend in every direction. Cross-border operations in Iraq, the Cyprus issue -- despite a significant rapprochement with Greece -- and the historical dispute with Armenia still pose major potential setbacks.

                  Moreover, the transformation in foreign policy depends in part on continuity in domestic reforms. The biggest challenge is the high court’s recent attempt to shut down the governing AKP. The groups manipulating the high court to shut down the AKP are the same ones that favor an insulated and more autocratic Turkey. They see both the United States and the European Union as major threats to Turkey’s unity, and have very rigid positions on the Kurdish, Cypriot, and Armenian issues. Therefore, if the AKP is shut down, all of the aforementioned achievements and policy changes will be overturned. Put simply, if these pro-military and anti-AKP forces are successful, they will mark the end of an era of unprecedented reform in Turkish politics, second only to the period of the country’s modern leader, Kemal Ataturk.

                  Future of U.S. Policy

                  The teaming up of U.S. neoconservatives with pro-military and anti-AKP circles in Turkey in an effort to topple the Erdogan government is self-destructive and has little chance of success, given popular support for a stronger and more pluralistic democracy in Turkey. Moreover, such neoconservative manipulations taint the image of the United States in Turkey, even at a time now when the Bush administration is distancing itself from many neoconservative positions.

                  The Bush-Erdogan summit in Washington in November 2007 marked the beginning of a new era in U.S.-Turkish relations. The Bush administration put pressure on Congress to squelch a resolution calling on Ankara to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, and Turkey got a more sympathetic audience for its security concerns related to the PKK in northern Iraq. Both sides now keep communication channels open in order to avoid the kind of dips in relations that have taken place in the past.

                  It is in the U.S. interest for Turkey to play an expanded peacemaking role in the region. But for Turkey to do so, it must continue on its current path of democratic reform. By supporting the military’s return in Turkey and a more hardline approach to Iran, U.S. neoconservatives want to turn the clock back on Turkish reform and plunge the entire region into even greater chaos.
                  General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


                  • #39
                    November Election: Time to Reward
                    Friends and Punish Foes in Congress

                    By Harut Sassounian
                    Publisher, The California Courier

                    Last October, when the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the Armenian
                    Genocide resolution by a vote of 27-21, Armenians were naturally elated. They
                    had just defeated the combined forces of the Bush Administration, the Turkish
                    government and its highly paid Washington lobbyists.
                    While Armenian-Americans should be commended for this important achievement,
                    they seem to have overlooked that 21 members of Congress had gone on record
                    siding with the denialist regime in Ankara, opposing a resolution on the
                    Armenian Genocide.
                    Just imagine what would have happened if that resolution had been about the
                    Holocaust and even a single member of Congress had voted against it!
                    Justifiably, there would have been nationwide condemnation of that legislator, who would
                    have been either pressured to resign or defeated during the next election! It
                    is simply amazing that 21 members of Congress would vote against the Armenian
                    Genocide and not a whimper is heard from the Armenian community and no action
                    is taken against them.
                    Nevertheless, Armenian-Americans can still act against these legislators by
                    contributing funds and voting for candidates challenging them in the November 4
                    election. Here are the names of the House Foreign Affairs Committee members
                    who voted against the Armenian Genocide Resolution on October 10, 2007: Gresham
                    Barrett (R-SC), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Dan Burton (R-IN),
                    Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Ruben Hinojosa
                    (D-TX), Bob Inglis (R-SC), Connie Mack (R-FL), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Brad
                    Miller (D-NC), Mike Pence (R-IN), Ted Poe (R-TX), Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL),
                    David Scott (D-GA), Adam Smith (D-WA), John Tanner (D-TN), and Robert Wexler
                    (D-FL). Luis Fortuno (R-PR) and Thomas Tancredo (R-CO) are not running for
                    Another group of House Members whose re-election should be opposed consists
                    of those who initially sponsored the Armenian Genocide resolution and then,
                    under pressure from the Bush Administration and pro-Turkish lobbyists, withdrew
                    their names from the list of co-sponsors: Marion Berry (D-AR), Sanford Bishop,
                    Jr. (D-GA), Dan Boren (D-OK), Allen Boyd (D-FL), Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Henry
                    Cuellar (D-TX), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Lincoln Davis (D-TN), Phil English
                    (R-PA), Wally Herger (R-CA), Tim Holden (D-PA), Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr.
                    (D-GA), Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr. (R-NY), Doug Lamborn
                    (R-CO), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Harry Mitchell (D-AZ), Dennis Moore (D-KS), Mike
                    Ross (D-AR), David Scott (D-GA), and John Shimkus (R-IL). There are three others
                    who are not running for re-election. Another member of this group, Roger
                    Wicker (R-MS), was appointed to the Senate and should be opposed as a Senatorial
                    The third group that should be opposed in the upcoming election consists of
                    five House Members who went out of their way to counter the congressional
                    resolution on the Armenian Genocide. They gave a joint press conference last
                    October asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to bring this measure to the House floor for
                    a vote. They are: Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha
                    (D-PA), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), John Tanner (D-TN), Robert Wexler, D-FL), and
                    Steve Cohen (D-TN). The ANCA is actively working to defeat Cong. Cohen in the
                    August 7 primary election and help elect his Democratic challenger Nikki Tinker,
                    a supporter of Armenian issues. Cong. Cohen recently bragged that one of his
                    "biggest accomplishments" in Congress was opposing the Armenian Genocide
                    resolution. If Cong. Cohen loses on August 7, this would send a powerful message to
                    all other House members that they too could be targeted for defeat, should
                    they oppose the Armenian resolution!
                    The ANC-PAC has contributed $5,000 to Tinker's campaign and another $23,000
                    was raised on-line by more than 300 Armenian-Americans. There are only a few
                    days left before the August 7 primary. To contribute to Tinker's campaign,
                    please go to:
                    In addition, I would like to single out the following congressional races
                    that merit special attention:
                    Cong. Jane Harman (D-CA) is a unique case. While keeping her name on the list
                    of co-sponsors of the Armenian Genocide resolution, she deviously wrote a
                    secret letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asking her not to schedule the measure for
                    a vote. Armenian-Americans should do everything possible to prevent the
                    re-election of this dishonest legislator. Another House member who should be
                    targeted for defeat is Cong. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), a genocide denialist and a
                    leading pro-Turkish voice in the House of Representatives, who constantly refers to
                    her Turkish son-in-law, Mustafa Ozdemir, in her remarks.
                    In Ohio, Independent candidate David Krikorian is trying to unseat Republican
                    incumbent Jean Schmidt who has been supported by Turkish-Americans nationwide
                    for her opposition to the Armenian Genocide resolution. Let's kill two birds
                    with one stone: Help elect a young and energetic Armenian-American to
                    Congress, while defeating an incumbent genocide denialist. To contribute, please go
                    to: Should Krikorian get elected, he would be
                    joining two other Armenian Americans House Members: Cong. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and
                    Jackie Speier (D-CA) who fully deserve the support of all Armenian-Americans in
                    their re-election campaign.
                    Cong. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for
                    Armenian Issues, has been a staunch supporter of the Armenian community for the
                    past 16 years. He is targeted for defeat by the Democratic Party. We should do
                    everything in our power to save his seat. Cong. Knollenberg will be coming to
                    Los Angeles at the end of August to raise much-needed funds for his
                    re-election. I suggest that as many Armenians as possible, regardless of party
                    affiliation, attend the fundraiser and contribute to his campaign. Armenian-Americans
                    should also support the other co-chair of the Armenian Caucus, Cong. Frank
                    Pallone (D-NJ) as well as the main sponsors of the Armenian Genocide resolution:
                    Adam Schiff (D CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Thaddeus
                    McCotter (R-MI). Armenians and their friends should give their strong backing
                    to Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), the main driving force behind the Genocide
                    In order to take concrete action against those Members of Congress who have
                    opposed the Armenian Genocide resolution, Armenian-Americans should demonstrate
                    in front of their offices, hold protests at their fundraisers and press
                    conferences, write critical articles, place negative ads, and support their
                    opponents in the upcoming election.
                    Realizing that incumbents have a high likelihood of getting re-elected,
                    should the Armenian-American community succeed in defeating even a single
                    anti-Armenian member of Congress, the message will go out loud and clear throughout
                    the halls of Congress that deniers of the Armenian Genocide risk losing their
                    jobs. We need to make an example of at least one of these political scoundrels,
                    so others will not dare to deny the Genocide, knowing that they would be
                    paying a heavy price.
                    General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”


                    • #40

                      Sibel Edmonds Case: Richard Perle continues criminal enterprise, MSM still silent

                      In 1989, the Wall Street Journal reported that Richard Perle and Douglas Feith had set up a lobbying company called International Advisors Inc [IAI] to lobby for “appropriation of U.S. military and economic assistance’ to Turkey."” When news of the $600,000 per annum contract got too hot to handle, Perle and Feith folded IAI and helped establish the American Turkish Council (ATC) to accomplish the same goals, but with a more respectable veneer.

                      Now, nineteen years later, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Richard Perle is “exploring going into the oil business in Iraq and Kazakhstan” with a “consortium founded by Turkish company AK Group International... Potential backers include two Turkish companies as well as Kazakhstan.”

                      Richard Perle issued a strange-sounding denial to the Wall Street Journal that he is involved with these latest oil projects, although he also issued a similarly "bizarre" denial to the 1989 WSJ article which reported on his consulting company IAI.

                      The WSJ continues:
                      "AK's chief executive is Aydan Kodaloglu, who, like Mr. Perle, has been involved with the American Turkish Council, an advocacy group in Washington."
                      In fact, according to her bio on the AK Group website, Kodaloglu "serves as a Board Member of the American Turkish Council." The ATC, established by Perle et al as a "sister organization" to AIPAC, was often caught on wiretaps heard by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. She described the ATC as a "front for criminal activity.”

                      The ATC has been under surveillance by both the FBI and the CIA since at least 1996, inpart because of suspected involvement in drug trafficking, public corruption and involvement in a nuclear black market procurement ring, but more importantly because of involvement in the 'great game' of the vast energy fields in Central Asia including Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

                      Investigative journalist John Stanton has written extensively about the connections between Central Asia and many of the 'associations' in the US, including the ATC, and others such as the American Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and the US Kazakhstan Business Association (UKBA). Stanton argues that:
                      "While the ATC is an Association in name and in charter, the reality is that it and other affiliated Associations are the US government." (emphasis in original)

                      Perle's partner in this enterprise, the AK Group is an "international consulting" group whose two other directors are Murat Akay who works "Turkish companies interested in establishing joint ventures with U.S. and Israeli enterprises" and Fehmi Sait Hurol who is "involved in various cultural activities and exchange programs between Turkey and the U.S."

                      Interestingly, Sibel Edmonds has previously referred to "organization(s) supposed to be promoting the cultural affairs of a certain country within another country" as front groups for organized crime networks. Given the connections here, it would not be surprising if Mr Hurol and the AK Group are one such front group.

                      In my recent article "The Central Asia Islamization xxxxtail: Mosques, Madrassas, Heroin & Terrorism" I quoted former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds describing the use of Turkish operatives and front groups to gain "control of Central Asia, particularly the oil and gas wealth, as well as the strategic value of the region." Sibel said:
                      "This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam.

                      This is why I have been saying repeatedly that these illegal covert operations by the Turks and certain US persons dates back to 1996, and involves terrorist activities, narcotics, weapons smuggling and money laundering, converging around the same operations and involving the same actors.

                      And I want to emphasize that this is "illegal" because most, if not all, of the funding for these operations is not congressionally approved funding, but it comes from illegal activities.

                      And one last thing, take a look at the people in the State Secrets Privilege Gallery on my website and you will see how these individuals can be traced to the following; Turkey, Central Asia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - and the activities involving these countries."
                      Richard Perle is listed in Sibel's State Secrets Privilege Gallery, and now we see him attempting to profit from his ATC connections by entering into an oil deal in Kazakhstan and Iraq, two decades after the WSJ first reported on the early phases of this criminal enterprise.

                      Meanwhile, the US media is mostly silent on the key issues again. Despite even the most mainstream WSJ reporting on Perle's recent dealings, including the importance of Turkey and the American Turkish Council, the rest of the media is asleep at the wheel, completely ignoring, or whitewashing, these important elements of the story.

                      Perhaps investigative reporter Joe Lauria said it best last week.
                      "Centrism is the philosophy of the American media - and that essentially backs the status quo, when you're a centrist, and this game of objectivity that they play is really limited by parameters that you're allowed to ask questions and to investigate and in a sense then you're transmitting these assumptions, and reinforcing every day that the US is really a functioning democracy, not even a representative democracy. And as we know of course there are oligarchic interests that buy off Congress, that puts the person in the Whitehouse that they need..."
                      General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”