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Do you feel this is a significant issue?
Yes
56%
 56%  [ 9 ]
No
43%
 43%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 16

Author Message
AACT





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Reputation: 12.9

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:57 pm    Post subject: Ignatieff's Hypocrisy on Terrorism Reply with quote

Not mentioned at all is Mr. Ignatieff’s hypocrisy on fighting terrorism, as made evident in his 1993 documentary, Dreaming a nation [the Kurds]. In this documentary, Mr. Ignatieff laughingly test fires a machinegun with members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and then applauds the chief’s marksmanship after encouraging the chief to take a shot. The PKK is listed by CSIS as a terrorist organization of the same ilk as Hamas and Hizballah, known to use violence in the pursuit of political objectives including here in Canada, and on record for having kidnapped and killed innocent civilians.

It does not take a Harvard professor to realize that Mr. Ignatieff’s strong sympathy for the PKK warrants questioning. Canada’s own intelligence agency equates the PKK with the likes of Hamas and Hizballah. If Mr. Ignatieff were seen firing a machine gun with Hamas or Hizballah, his credentials as the future leader of the Liberal Party would rightfully be debated (if not immediately dismissed).

So why does this hypocrisy not make Mr. Ignatieff unfit to be the leader of a political party let alone a MP?

AACT

- Photos & Video available at: http://ca.geocities.com/aact@r.....piral.html

- CSIS commentary on the PKK is located under sections 8 of "The CSIS ACT - in Action", in 10 and 11 of "Multicultural Pride and Homeland Conflicts" and 11 of the "Annex" all of which can be found at:
http://www.csis.gc.ca/en/publi.....200004.asp


Last edited by AACT on Thu Sep 14, 2006 12:48 am; edited 3 times in total
echo





Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 2
Reputation: 12.8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The author is right. I think we have to start getting worried if our politicians are given immunity for their irresponsible actions, regardless if those actions were in the recent past. Am I the only other person who is worried?
Donald Hughes





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 166
Reputation: 16.2Reputation: 16.2
Location: Libertarian socialism

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, some broader context would be useful, like the incredible terrorism of Turkey against the Kurds before and during the period mentioned. The PKK was born out of this repression and the PKK considered itself a national liberation force.
AACT





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Reputation: 12.9

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald:

Point #1: CSIS classifies the PKK as a terrorist organization. Canada's own intelligence agency considers the PKK to be a terrorist group both for its targeting of innocent Turkish civilians and tourists as well as for its violence/fund-raising committed here in Canada.

CSIS commentary on the PKK is located under sections 8 of "The CSIS ACT - in Action" (http://www.csis.gc.ca/en/publications/perspectives/200004.asp):

"8. While the precise numbers will vary over time, these principles translate into approximately 50 organizational targets and 350 individual targets in the CSIS counter-terrorism program. Their origins are in Punjab, Israel and the occupied territories, Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Turkey, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan. Groups include Hizballah, Hamas, and Sunni Islamic extremist organizations, as well as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK), and various Sikh terrorist groups. Canadians may not generally consider their country vulnerable to such a broad terrorist phenomenon, but the Kelly Committee found that Canada is a “primary venue of opportunity to support, plan, or mount” terrorist attacks."

and 10 and 11 of "Multicultural Pride and Homeland Conflicts":

"10. Canada has sought to discourage politically-motivated violence, and to prevent the spread of conflicts to Canada or the provision of Canadian support to conflicts abroad. Two examples illustrate just how quickly a homeland conflict can be played out on Canadian soil.
· On 5 April, 1992, the Iranian Air Force conducted a bombing raid on an MEK base in Iraq. Hours later, forty MEK supporters wielding sticks, crowbars and mallets attacked the Iranian embassy in Ottawa, wounding several people. Near-simultaneous attacks were carried out on Iranian Embassies in thirteen other countries around the world
· On 15 February, 1999, PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was arrested in Kenya. The next day, violent PKK supporters rioted in Montreal, and a day later in Ottawa. Several police officers were wounded, including one who lost an eye, and another who was set on fire with a Molotov cocktail.
11. These incidents make it clear that MEK and PKK support networks in Canada are directly linked to their parent organizations abroad. Terrorist support here contributes to the groups’ activities internationally, and when those activities trigger retaliation, violence can reverberate in Canada."


and in the “Annex”:

"11. Founded in 1978 by Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK is battling the government of Turkey for an autonomous Kurdish Region in the south of the country. Along with acts of guerilla warfare against security forces, PKK members and supporters are known to have kidnapped expatriates and tourists, and to have bombed a department store and a park in the centre of Istanbul’s tourist district. "

Point #2: Get your facts straight. There has been a long though sporadic history of Kurdish unrest dating back to at least the Sheikh Said Rebellion of 1880 to 1925, brought out not by acts of Turkish "repression" but by power politics played as much by foreign powers as by local Kurdish tribal warlords trying to claim territory and influence. In the early 20th century, these foreign entities were the Europeans, especially the UK who tried to replicate their success with Lawrence of Arabia in the Arabian heartland (but failed in the case of the Kurds). The PKK, now also referred to as the KGK, is just the latest manifestation of this unrest and neighbouring countries, such as Greece and Syria, are among those on record for having funded and assisted the terrorist group with the aim of destabilizing Turkey. It is also important to note that the PKK does not enjoy wide support among the country's 10 million or so Kurds (about 15% of the total population), and many law abiding Kurdish Turks have actually been killed, injured and threatened. Turkey in the face of terrorism has the right to defend its sovereignty and its citizens just as any other nation. So let's not simply white wash PKK terrorism and call a spade a spade. Al Qaeda and the Taliban also consider themselves to be "liberation forces born out of repression." Yet we do not hesitate to refer to these groups as terrorist organizations or to support Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas or Hizballah attacks.

Point #3: Support and recognize your allies. Turkey is a long-standing NATO member, which means that it has therefore been a military ally of Canada and the US for many decades as well as having strong military ties with Israel (training, joint military activities, exchange of technology). During the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Turkish government gave US forces access to a crucial air base (Incirlik) in the southern part of the country despite the fact that this was a hugely unpopular decision for the Turkish public and so politically risky. In fact, it continues to do so. Turkey was also instrumental in assisting with the recent evacuation of thousands of Canadians from Lebanon, has troops in as part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan and will contribute a peacekeeping force among the largest in southern Lebanon that will continue to safeguard Canadians in that region.

So in the broader context, if we believe our own intelligence agency, if we recognize the important role that a largely muslim yet secular and democratic country can play in assisting the West in the war against terror, but perhaps most importantly if Canada and Canadians wish not to be seen as hypocritical for branding the PKK's targeting of innocents as anything but terrorism, then we owe the world and ourselves a consistent foreign policy devoid of double standards and weak analysis.


Last edited by AACT on Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:47 am; edited 1 time in total
Donald Hughes





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Libertarian socialism

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure your response really applies to what I said. You are trying to make it sound like Ignatieff supports the PKK in all it does, which is obviously false. He simply understands them within the context of a repressive Turkish state. As for your power politics explanation, it is of course the standard excuse used for ethnic repression: They are trying to undermine the great Turkish nation. This is the reason why the Turkish government had (has) all sorts of draconian laws against Kurds, refusing even to call them Kurds but "Mountain Turks", banning their language and forcibly displacing their people. Comparing the PKK to al-Qaeda is also absurd. The acts of the PKK are not comparable even to the violence of the Turkish state, which of course prided itself as a modern secular liberal-democracy even as their program of repression continued.

Anyways, I don't recognize anything positive in the government of Turkey going against the wishes of the vast majority of their population by supporting the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. Likewise, if the only way to achieve "allies" in the region is to encourage massive repression of their own populations, there is a little bit of a "friends like these" effect.
echo





Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 2
Reputation: 12.8

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Hughes, I've been to Turkey and can assure you that the Kurdish language is spoken widely, and rightly so. In fact some of the national television programmes are broadcast in Kurdish with Turkish subtitles. I also know that one of Turkey's most popular and democratically elected past PMs include Turgut Ozal - who was Kurdish and originally from Eastern Turkey! This was never concealed by the Turks, but perhaps ignored by others, including yourself.

I think that actually you're missing AACT's point. AACT was commenting on a Canadian politician who has associated himself with a terrorist organisation (not according to AACT, but according to the CSIS, a Canadian authority). PKK has killed innocent civilians and tourists alike with bomb blasts. Mr Hughes, are you, and Mr Ignatieff endorsing terrorism because you don't agree with the Turkish State's policies?
Donald Hughes





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 166
Reputation: 16.2Reputation: 16.2
Location: Libertarian socialism

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really want to get into a debate about whether or not the Turkish state is massively repressive against Kurds (among many other minorities), which I think has been proven without a doubt in almost any inquiry by groups like HRW, AI and historical research. My point was that I think Ignatieff would be able to handle your criticism in detail, and I assume that he has in some of his publications. I don't really feel I need to dwell on this because I'm not the one accusing Ignatieff of supporting terrorism. On my own opinion of questionable relevance, I don't support terror / war crimes against general populations. Were minorities to take up arms to defend themselves against specific state repressions, and if I felt that these acts were effective and not suicidal, then I might support them. I am also less likely to hold the mistakes of those in a subordinate position of resistance above those of an overwhelmingly powerful nation-state that claims to be a model liberal-democracy. Again, you may have read gnatieff's related works in detail, but I'm saying that there is a broader context that this thread initially glossed over.
AACT





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Reputation: 12.9

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald, this wasn't meant to be a debate about Turkey. Your responses are the ones that don't really apply to the question at hand, namely Ignatieff's inappropriate sympathy for the PKK which he expresses clearly both in his book, Blood and Belonging, and his documentary, Dreaming a Nation. So neither I nor anyone else needs to make it sound like Ignatieff supports the PKK - because he does. And he is wrong for doing so. Ignatieff is an intelligent, well educated human being; so he should know better than to fire a machine gun, encourage a PKK leader to do the same all the while with a great big smile on his face and his sympathetic narrative in the background.

Even if he and you both believe the Turkish state to be a repressive one, this does not justify the PKK killing tourists, Turkish and Kurdish civilians as well as even committing violence on Canadian soil all of which have been documented by CSIS. Nothing justifies the killing of innocents. Nothing. Not once have you acknowledged this fact, which is quite frankly shocking.

Furthermore, To equate the life aspirations of the majority of Turkey's 10+ millions Kurds with the ambitions through terrorism of the PKK is simplistically incorrect. The PKK would not otherwise have had to coerce, terrorise and murder Kurdish moderates and those deemed to be too close to the democratically elected government. And clearly other Kurds like former PM Turgut Ozal and a former foreign minister in the 1990s didn't share the PKK terrorist perspective.

So if we're going to change the debate, let's not simply parrot the old "Terrible Turk" rhetoric and pretend this to be "historical research." Besides the fact that you seem to justify PKK terrorism, your criticisms of Turkey are either outdated or lack depth. Turkey has not referred to the Kurds as mountain Turks for nearly 2 decades. As Echo pointed out, today Kurds in Turkey speak, sing, hear and teach Kurdish. Turkey has had a Kurdish PM and foreign minister. For that matter Turkey has had a woman as PM. Has Canada or the US ever had a minority as its head of state (a native PM or a hispanic President)? No.

And as far as being cited by HRW or AI for transgressions against a minority, Canada's mistreatment of its native peoples are also there to be found. To this day examples include broken treaties, relegation to reserves with recent examples of unsafe drinking water and encroachment/trespassing by non-native development, over 40% of native Canadian women living below the poverty line, and a suicide rate three times that of non-natives as noted by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Remember that for many natives, we live on stolen land. If ever there were reasons to feel repressed, I think native Canadians have them in spades. And yet thankfully there is no PKK equivalent here. I would oppose any group within Canada that might justify the use of violence to carve out its own nation state within our country, as did Trudeau when he called in the army against the FLQ. As a Canadian, I think you would as well. But that would be inconsistent with your basic premise that violence against innocents seems justified in the case of a minority of a minority that deems itself repressed.
AACT





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 7
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet another bombing in Turkey on the 13th of September, this time in a park injuring 14 and killing 11 people including 5 children. Bomb attacks in tourist resorts and other Turkish cities in recent weeks have also killed a total of 12 people and wounded dozens.

One separatist militant group, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (Tac) which is believed to be associated with the PKK, has said it carried out those attacks. The group also said on its website last week that it would turn "Turkey into hell," and warned tourists to stay away.

The terrorism continues and makes Ignatieff's support in his 1993 book and film just as reprehensible as ever.
AACT





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Reputation: 12.9

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:32 pm    Post subject: Ignatieff's Latest Gaffes Reply with quote

As per today's article by Jeffrey Simpson in the Globe:

"The Liberals thought they had hammered out a position at their last caucus meeting in Vancouver: Israel has a right to exist, Israel has a right to defend itself, all terrorism should be condemned...This is the classic Canadian position, and it happens to be the correct one."

Not for Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff apparently.
biggie





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Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I agree that Ignatieff's association with a terrorist organization may be troubling, I'm not overly concerned about it. I think that there are things in people's pasts which cannot be undone. Things that may have been mistakes. I'd prefer to look at present(last couple years) and future decisions and make my judgements based on those.

13 years is a long time... perhaps he's learned something in that time. I know I have..
Stephen Harper sure has (although I think he was 100% correct about northern welfare state etc.. )

His latest trend of putting his foot in his mouth comes because he's running for leadership of the liberals - where speaking truth and standing up for israelis is wrong. I think he's still on Israel's side deep down, and I think he's still a staunch supporter of the war in Iraq.

Plus - I won't be voting for him, and I'd still prefer him over Rae as PM ;)
biggie





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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votes: 10
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
Well, some broader context would be useful, like the incredible terrorism of Turkey against the Kurds before and during the period mentioned. The PKK was born out of this repression and the PKK considered itself a national liberation force.


Why am I not surprised to see Mr. Hughes defending terrorists once again.
Guantanamo Bay is calling you - they need a defence lawyer ;)
biggie





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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Reputation: 44Reputation: 44Reputation: 44Reputation: 44
votes: 10
Location: Ottawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say this once again - Amnesty International is a bunch of whackos who do nothing for nobody...
they whine and cry foul about attrocities, and expect countries to do something about it - and when they do they whine and cry foul about that..

See: Afghanistan, Iraq. If the UN invades Darfur, you'll see it there too.

Pacifism at it's worst..

All I have to do is look at all the first year university students trying to get people to join and I know it's bull*%@*

;)
AACT





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Reputation: 12.9

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: Ignatieff Should Be Held Accountable Reply with quote

BR appreciate your views. You're right of course about 13 years being a long time.

But I'd say three things. First, Ignatieff continues to demonstrate questionable judgement and makes unbecoming statements despite his supposedly impressive credentials and significant international experience. His Israel comment is but the latest example.

The second point would be that regardless of how old his past controversial comments may be, be they recent or 13 years old, what's lost in getting him to rejustify them? Once confronted in November 2005 that he belittled Ukrainians in his same 1993 book where he supports the PKK terrorists, Ignatieff chose to deny these accusations. He didn't simply say, "Oh that was a long time ago." because even he knew that wouldn't wash if he's to be taken seriously as the future leader of a major political party.

Finally his comments may be 13 years old, but as highlighted above the terrorist group conitinues to murder and maim innocent tourists and Turkish citizens. And given that and his past comments about the need to fight terrorism, Ignatieff should be held accountable.
AACT





Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Reputation: 12.9

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Ignatieff's November 9th Globe & Mail article Reply with quote

Does Mr. Ignatieff actually believe that a statement like "Being equal as Canadians doesn't mean being the same" is actually a revelation? Isn't that multiculturalism? Yes Quebec has a unique history but so does every other province. He notes “Quebec entered the federation on the understanding that its distinguishing features would receive protection.” But how can he seriously suggest that Quebeckers do not already "stand equal before the trials of life" and "benefit equally from life's opportunities"?
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Ignatieff's Hypocrisy on Terrorism

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