America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

02 January 2007

Unedited Video of Saddam Hussein's Hanging

Via Robert Lindsay, with whom I once crossed swords on the topic of Turkish nationalism (which he defines as an illness, more or less) His latest post (which contains the unedited video), receives my salute for excellent, informative commentary:

"..Although in many ways he was a terrible person and a mass murderer, Saddam's behavior prior to being hanged was dignified and proper, in my opinion.
No matter how he would have behaved, his enemies would have spun it in such a way as to make Saddam look malevolent, humiliated or weak. Despite propaganda that he seemed frightened, I did not think he seemed that way. Nor did he seem especially defiant,except when taunted. At any rate, all of those gloating that Saddam seemed a wee bit frightened, I would like to see how they hold up to being hung by a rope.
Saddam surely deserved this fate but I cannot see any good come of this.The fact that praise for Sadr was being shouted means that Saddam was hung by militiamen of the Mahdi Army, who are rightly
referred to as sectarian militiamen.
When you hear about X number of bodies, tortured, blindfolded and handcuffed, found in Baghdad on a given day, it is the Shia Mahdi Army, not the Sunni guerrillas, who are responsible for all, or
almost all, of those killings. This fact is conveniently almost never explained by the US media. The media simply says that X bodies were discovered, describes their state, and says, "militias" killed them.."

37 comments:

Ardent said...

After viewing the amateur video of Saddam's hanging, it seems to me that the Shite Dogs get their revenge.

I could understand if the shouting came from the Kurds whose families had been gassed, but Shites? This is purely a shift in seats.

Why were they priasing Muqtada? It seems to me that Iraq is now Out of the frypan and into the Fire!

What an awful situation for the U.S. to create. Muqtada is alligned with Iran, so the U.S. has simply streagthened a Shite region.

God have mercy on Iraq.

Robert Lindsay said...

Hi American Turk. Just to clear up a few things. I am not opposed to Turkish nationalism per se, just the way it has turned out. Anyone who wants the best for Turkey is a Turkish nationalist, de facto. IOW, mainstream Turkish nationalism has turned in the usual fascist direction. My position on nationalism is complex for a Leftist. Many of us hate nationalism and call themselves internationalists. I understand the critique of nationalism but do not agree. People are nationalists, and it is not insanity or evil or put my country first. In fact, I am a US nationalist the same as you support Turkish nationalism. So we are really brothers ideologically.

My position is that people are naturally nationalists, but that nationalism is like matches or fire, dangerous to play with it. All nationalists should realize that nationalism has the seed of fascism in it and guard against that. In some more virulent nationalisms, the seed of fascism has sprouted full-force. Mainline Turkish nationalism is a case in point. But it does not have to be this way. Turkish nationalism can be anything that Turkish nationalists decide it to be. They can get rid of national and ethnic chauvinism and go the way of say, Canadian, Czech, Slovak, or English nationalists anytime they want.

Actually, I support the rights of Turkic minorities outside Turkey, including Azeris in Armenia, Turkmen in Iraq, Pomaks in Europe, Turks in Greece, etc. So, as you can see, perhaps I am a bit of a Turkish nationalist myself. Furthermore, I am contemptuous of Kurdish nationalism as practiced in Iraq and I think the Kurdish nationalists in Syria and Iran are being irresponsible in lining themselves up with Zionism and imperialism. Have they no shame? But the Kurdish nationalism of the PKK is not bad at all.

I don't believe in the racial theory of good or evil. If Turks are acting bad now, it is due to culture, not genes. They can cut it out anytime they want. Furthermore, I support many Turkish groups, so it's hard to say I hate Turks in some racial sense.

Much as I dislike Ataturk, of course I like his secularism. Turkey is moving in the right direction, but slowly. By and by, they will move towards the norms of the Western modern world, or they will never get into the EU. It's their choice.

As recently as the 1971, we did not even really allow Blacks the right to vote, so we are not so special either.

Robert Lindsay said...

So, to sum up, what is Turkish nationalism nowadays? It is just the Grey Wolves and MHP, that is all it is. If I were a Turk, I would be a nationalist too, but I would renounce the Grey Wolves and the MHP. Face it, the ideology of the Turkish state is that of Grey Wolves and the MHP, only just softened down a bit. And this has, tragically, been the ideology of the Turkish state since its foundation. This is the tragedy of Turkey.

As a Leftist, we take a hard line against fascists. Even though it's illegal, I support just simply killing them. So people such as the Grey Wolves and MHP militants should just be killed by us Leftists, anywhere we can find them, and that includes Germany. I realize that is called murder in most countries but I don't care. I am a revolutionary after all.

Murat Altinbasak said...

"But the Kurdish nationalism of the PKK is not bad at all."

You had me, then you lost me.
How can you say that nationalism of the PKK is not bad? I'm baffled and vexed. Have you any idea how many Turkish soldiers return to their home towns occupying a press-board box each day, each week, because of PKK nationalists/terrorists/guerillas?
Also, you seem to have Turkish nationalism confused with racism of some sort. Ethnicity doesn't matter.. As George himself said, I believe the position of a Turkish nationalist is: "you are either with us or against us". Turkish ethnicity (if such a thing truly exists) is not a prerequisite for being a Turkish nationalist. Love for your country, it's people, government and future, clearly is though (in my view).. What you seem to describe is a situation where Turkish nationalists care of nothing besides those with so-called Turkish blood in their veins. Seems you are leading people into the weeds on this Robert..
It's time for those in Turkey with hyphenated ethnicity (Kurdish-Turks, Greek-Turks, Armenian-Turks-- that's ethnicity followed by nationality) to stop defecating on the Turkish flag for a change. Love it or leave it, as we American nationalists are fond of saying.

Murat Altinbasak said...

"Even though it's illegal, I support just simply killing them."

You're a crazy effing bastard, Robert.. But that's why I blogrolled you.

Questions for you: If a person decides to marry a person of the same race, does that make them a racist? (ie: those who want to avoid "diluting" the blood lines)
If a person decides to marry a person of the same nationality, does that make them a nationalist?
Which is worse?
Truth is, I did both of the above in one fell swoop, but without any consideration given to how much Greek, Albanian, Bulgarian, Tatar, Georgian, Armenian or Kurdish blood might be in her veins..
There's a popular soap opera in Turkey about a "Greek-Turkish" man who marries a "Turkish-Turkish" woman. In the latest episode, they are separated and fighting for custody of their children.. It's getting ugly. Wish you could see it.

Murat Altinbasak said...

"God have mercy on Iraq."
Ardent my friend,
Amen to that.. but I would re-phrase it slightly:
"God please have mercy on Iraq for once, and please unleash your wrath upon those seeking to destroy Iraq's peace."

Robert Lindsay said...

Well, PKK nationalism is ok because IMHO, it is not Kurdish chauvinist nationalism, as is the Kurdish nationalism in Iraq. That's what I meant. Of course the relatives of Turkish soldiers killed do not think it is ok. What would happen to Turkey if you just let Kurdistan go, just let it loose? Is there anything much you need there? Would it devastate the economy of the country? I mean, in the whole southeast, they all hate you, they hate Turkey, they don't want to be part of your country, they have guns, they blow stuff up. I say cut em off and say good riddance to bad rubbish, eh? Describe to me how Turkey would be damaged by just cutting these pricks (as I'm sure you see them) loose.

Turkey was just formed in 1920 or so and it's formation was dubious to say the least. For one thing, other nations, including Armenia and Kurdistan, were violently forced into Turkey's fake boundaries with utmost force and a river of blood. Armenians and Kurds have considered themselves a part of Armenia and Kurdistan for 1000's of years. Why should they suddently decide to become Kurdish-Turks or Armenian-Turks?

I would like to point out that nation-building is typically a bloody exercise but that the more advanced countries have stopped the process or at least feel bad about the crimes that they did. Here in the US, for instance, the dominant culture feels bad about our treatment of Black Slaves and Native Americans conquered to make this land, not to mention the outrage of Hawaii. The same in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other civilized places. Most of the world is backwards and uncivilized = 3rd world. This is what Turkey is. That is shameful. Turkey would be better off leaving the 3rd world muckhole and joining the civilized world.

Sure we support killing fascists, if they are a direct menace. The White Wolves are basically a death squad. If they are just making nasty noises, we should leave them alone.

Pan-Turanianism is a nasty sort of beast, is it not? Is this not the White Wolves philosophy, and deep down inside, the mindset of the Turkish military and establishment?

There are many types of nationalism. Turkish nationalism looks like your typical fascist-type ultranationalism. Granted, such can take racist and non-racist forms. If a Kurd decides to renounce everything about himself, supposedly he can become a "real Turk", or a "mountain Turk" or some such. This is the ideal, according to Kemalism. Sort of like France. Yet still, demanding that all nations inside your country renounce themselves and "become Turks" is a nasty type of nationalism, whether it is racist or not. Fascism has many characteristics, racial nationalism being only one of them.

The real problem here is that Turkey won't admit that it was born in bloodshed, like Israel, the US and so many other countries. It takes a grown-up country to do that, and in this way, Turkey is an immature and backwards place.

Gamze said...

"Turkey won't admit that it was born in bloodshed, like Israel , the U.S and so many other countires".

Ummm...you want a name a country that wasn't??

And has the U.S. and Israel exhibited the "maturity" to admit it, making them less backwards than Turkey, as you put it?

Robert Lindsay said...

Maybe there were some countries not born in bloodshed, who knows? But it's unfortunately a pretty typical thing. Turkey's birth was particularly bloody by modern standards, in fact it stands out.

Many Israelis have admitted to their nation's "original sin". Check out the work of the "new historians" like Benny Morris, for instance. Their work is controversial all right and some of them have suffered ocupationally, but they get published in the major press. I understand that in fascist Turkey, publishing such works is a fascist offense called "insulting Turkishness" or some nonsense. Until you get rid of those barbaric laws, there will be no EU for you. Your ball.

Not sure if you live here in the US. The standard attitude of most Americans towards the conquest of the Indians is that we did a terrible thing here. Almost everyone is contrite about slavery too. Most admit that Hawaii was stolen, and most think our colonial gambit with the Philippines was immoral. It's universally accepted that the Mexican War was a fake war and that that part of the US was just stolen from Mexico.

Yes, it is a sign of a nation's civilizational status or maturity, to admit when it was wrong and move on. Backwards nations and peoples can't seem to do that - they just deny and blame other people. Understand that Americans were once backwards like that too, but we moved beyond that. Moving forwards in history is called "progress". Turks can stop being 3rd world barbarians any time they want. All you have to do is change your mind.

say NO to Stupid said...

Not sure if you live here in the US. The standard attitude of most Americans towards the conquest of the Indians is that we did a terrible thing here. Almost everyone is contrite about slavery too. Most admit that Hawaii was stolen, and most think our colonial gambit with the Philippines was immoral. It's universally accepted that the Mexican War was a fake war and that that part of the US was just stolen from Mexico.

Robert,

When did you become the voice of America? You talkand talk and yet your words say so little my friend.
You give to much credit to America and our politicians my friend.

The standard attitude of most Americans towards the conquest of the Indians is that we did a terrible thing here. Almost everyone is contrite about slavery too

WHAT!!! Sure kill them all then hit the confessional.

Robert you scare me mi amigo. You mean well, but need to check your facts.
Like with the following statement:

Yes, it is a sign of a nation's civilizational status or maturity, to admit when it was wrong and move on. Backwards nations and peoples can't seem to do that - they just deny and blame other people. Understand that Americans were once backwards like that too, but we moved beyond that. Moving forwards in history is called "progress". Turks can stop being 3rd world barbarians any time they want. All you have to do is change your mind.

Turks can stop being 3rd world barbarians any time they want. All you have to do is change your mind.

Robert, what war did Turkey start?
How many Wars were started by Amerikkkans? How much blood was spilled under our American Flag.

Robert, please do not call yourself a leftist nor a revolutionary, you have'nt a clue to their meanings.

Gamze said...

say no to stupiid, well put. I guess you can now call out checkmate (especially about "what war did Turkey start?".

EXCELLENT POINT!!

All that we Turks have ever done was to fight off FOREIGN INVADERS.

For god's sake, the Turks never posed a threat to the Australians. What the hell business did they have on our soil? That's just one example. But no country has ever conquered our sweet country. I guess being "barbaric" paid off.

Ardent said...

Dear Robert

For a leftist journalist you certainly sound like an uncompromising American nationalist.

I am an Australian of Turkish-Cypriot descent and although I am Australian I am proud of my heritage.

You certainly put the boots in regarding Turkish history. Please let me inform you about Anglo-Saxon history. Australia was set up as a British Penal Colony. The early settlers in Australia were all convicts. At school in history Class, we were taught that the convicts that were sent to Australia, were not very bad people, they were only charged with misdemeanors, like stealing a handkerchief. So the Government wants all Australians to believe that their ancestors were not hardened criminals. Schools are telling us that England kept all the Murderers, Thieves, Pedophiles, and Rapists in their prisons and only sent the petty criminals to Australia. Why would a starving person in the 1800’s want to steal a handkerchief? This is all propaganda. They taught the same crap to my children when they were in primary school. Why? Because the Australians do not want Australian Culture to be insulted.

Furthermore, when the British arrived in Australia they killed so many Aborigines; the ENTIRE Aboriginal population of Tasmania was hunted down and killed.
The Aborigines used to live in fertile ground along the coast. The White man took all this land and drove the remaining Aborigines into the Australian Desert.

In the early 1900’s the Australian government decided there needed to be a program of assimilation, so Aboriginal children were taken from their parents and given to White families or put in Government Orphanages. So they could lose their culture and become more Anglo.

When this program was abandoned, they them put Aborigines into Reservations. Aborigines could only leave the Reservations at certain times. I think our Government must have got this idea from the Americans, who put their Indigenous people into reservations. Well I could continue, but what I want to say is after all this suffering the Australian Government has never apologized to the Aborigines. And Australia in not a third world Country. Turkey may have conquered and taken land, just like the Americans and the British, but they did not put the Kurds or the Armenians into Reservations, they were invited to become a Country with one flag.

You only want to mention the negative. It was the British who carved the Middle East, it was the British who did not give the Kurds an allocated space on the map, and this is not Turkeys fault.

Turkey has done a lot of good which is unrecognized. In 1492 when all the Jews were expelled from Spain, the Ottoman Empire took in 90,000 exiled Jews, while America took only 5,000 Jews. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Spain

Cyprus owes Turkey a lot of gratitude. The Greeks had been killing off Turks in Cyprus since the 60’s and this had been ignored by the international community. When Greece entered Cyprus in 74 to rid the Turks and unify Cyprus with Greeks, Turkey came in and saved us. I have complete respect for Prime Minister Ecevit and the Turkish government for not allowing my relatives and people to be exterminated.

Now let’s talk about America’s bloody history. The good thing about America is they do most things though the back door. They overthrow governments through US sponsored coups: Indonesia, Egypt, Iran, they even sponsored Saddam’s Bath party to overthrow the government prior.

The neoconservatives are the most dangerous political party today. Compared to them Saddam ought to have been given Sainthood. Yet the poor bugger had to be hung because of an American led illegal invasion. The U.S. is so arrogant. I have recently given the novel, ‘The Quiet American’, to my daughter to read. The U.S. is so presumptuous and arrogant with their policies.

They also kill so many innocent people, and you laugh at Turkey. During the Vietnam war the Americans killed thousand of Cambodians and they were not even in the War. Ho Chi Mihn’s troops were traveling through Cambodia, hence the Ho Chi Minh trail, so the American spraying Agent Orange through Cambodia near the Vietnam border, killing all the vegetation, so they could then see and kill the Viet Kong. So many Cambodians died and they were not in the War. So tell me have the U.S. government apologized to the Cambodians?

I must agree with you that Turks are not angels and they have a lot to learn, but in order to enter the civilized world, let’s hope they don’t take on American values.

Robert Lindsay said...

Hello. Yes, kill them all and then hit the confession booth. Well, in the history of many nations, they have done just that, kill them all, in one way or another. Turkey certainly did, so did the US, so did many other nations. Most nations have one or more genocides or mass murders in their past. So, if a nation has that in their past, what are they to do? The past cannot be redone. So all there is to do is feel bad about the crimes of the past and resolve to hopefully do better in the future. What should a human do if he has done crimes or bad things in the past? Same thing. Admit you were wrong and resolve to do better. There is nothing more to do.

Turkey is like the defiant serial killer on the stand belligerently denying his crimes and blaming the victims. Disgusting.

Turkey started a war in Cyprus. In fact, Turkey is much like Israel. Turkey and Israel are international pariahs, despised by 95% of the civilized world for their cave man behaviors. That is why we see UN resolution after resolution condemning Turkey for Cyprus and Israel for the territories. Morocco and Indonesia are similar outlaws. Turkey started a massive war with the birth of its fake country, invading and conquering 3 other nations, Assyria, Armenia, and Kurdistan and incorporating parts of them, with massive violence, into its boundaries, killing 1.5 million ppl in the process.

We are here to discuss, not America. That is called changing the subject. When you go before a judge to plead your innocence, are you allowed to use as evidence, "They did it too" as you try to do here? Does the judge acquit you with that defense?

Robert Lindsay said...

Yes, you fought off "foreign invaders" of Assyria, Kurdistan and Armenia when you INVADED their countries, conquered them, and like a bunch of NAZIS, tried to exterminate them (at least the Assyrians and the Armenians - the Kurds being spared because as Muslims they were not infidels). But you got back to the Kurds later on, right? Oh yes, and you tried to final-solution the Greeks in your country too, killing 350,000 of them. Well, they deserved it, being infidels and all, right-o?

Whoever invaded your country?!

Robert Lindsay said...

"For a leftist journalist you certainly sound like an uncompromising American nationalist."

I just love my country, same way you guys love Turkey. We're birds of a feather, no? Why can't we all just get along? Actually, rightwingers accuse me all the time of being an America-hater. And the Left accuses me of being a rightwing racist American nationalist fascist. I am not an internationalist - I put America first. Can't you guys relate to that?

I know nothing about Australian culture at all, and I can't tell you if they are telling lies about themselves or not. If they are, then Australia is not a very mature country. Are they not now handing over tracts of land to the Blacks? Is that not more than fascist Turkey would ever do for any minority?

My understanding is that there was a genocide in Tasmania, but not so much out and out killing in Australia proper. I think most Aborigines died of disease, no? It's really similar here in the US, where most Indians were killed by disease and not homicide. We had an assimilation and boarding school program in the US too. This program is now regarded by Americans as a crime and a mistake. So much so that the US govt even funds programs to promote Indian languages, in fact, I worked on a grant for one. Tell me, in what possible universe does fascist Turkey ever give ONE DIME towards any minority language?

We put Indians onto reservations, but now they can leave. Reservations are actually a good thing now. We have given a good portion of our land to these people for their use and their use only. These are by and large their ancestral lands. Many Indians continue to live on their ancestral lands and even on their old village sites. In addition, they can go move anywhere they want! Indians are now super-citizens of the US, with rights far above those of ordinary citizens. They all get free health, dental and mental health care, they get free land, free houses, free food, free this, free that, you name it. They don't even have to pay property taxes! Not only that, but they and they alone get to set up casinos here to get stinking rich while non-Indians are not allowed to. Plus, there is little racism against Indians. In fact, there is the opposite. Non-Indians love Indians and even dress up like them., wear their jewelry and decorate their homes with Indian-type motifs and artwork, etc. Most are very proud of any Indian ancestry they have and proudly tell anyone abouut it. We are afflicted with philo-Indianism, if anything. Would fascist Turkey ever make a minority into a super-citizen? If Hell froze over. Would Turks ever become philo-Kurds, philo-Armenians and philo-Greeks, decorating their homes with Greek art, wearing Kurdish jewelry and wearing Armenian clothes with pride and even strutting around showing off about it? LOL!

Brits giving Kurds a nation would require carving out Turkey. I understand Kurdistan was not created in 1921 in part due to Turkish objections.

I am no friend of British or US imperialism, and I agree with all of your critiques of such. Of course I think Turkey did good things. In fact, Kemalism has many positive virtues. But the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and good acts don't cancel out the bad.

We are a bit like you. Humans don't like to admit to wrongdoing or apologize. Nations being groups of humans don't like to do that either. Vietnam still smarts in our craw, and it will take us a while to apologize for that, if ever. It's a bit too soon and too many of us died. But we did apologize for Philippines, Hawaii, the Japanese internment camps and Jim Crow. Clinton apologized to Guatemalans for our crimes down there, 1954-1990.

Turkey has never apologized to anyone for anything and at the rate they are going, never will. You're proud of that!

I don't know about Cyprus, only that the whole world condemns you for that.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Robert, you are in the habit of making sweeping presumptions, and assigning collective guilt for all of it. Let's please make a distinction between Ottoman Empire and the secular Turkish Republic. Your careless use of the word "you" is causing discomfort. I've read all of your comments, and frankly nothing surprises me. You have a hair across your ass for Turks, or at least for our ancestors. It should be clear to you by now that no apologies will ever be made by Turk no 1 for the bloodshed of Turkey's War of Independence. That would be the same as condemning your parents for having intercourse and conceiving you in your mother's womb..
Hopefully I do not repeat myself here, but have you ever traveled to Turkey and met or lived with the people who you so despise? I got out of bed for a glass of water and find that you are engaging readers in a campaign of hateful indoctrination. You even broke Godwin's Law without wasting any time.. There ARE some self-hating Turks who might agree with some of your positions (Fatma Gocek and Taner Akcam come to mind) But most readers here are about as intolerant of anti-Turkishness as a long-dead lieutenant of Ataturk might have been, 80 years ago.. What is your POINT? and what has it to do with Saddam Hussein's execution?

Gamze said...

This always seems to happen: Murat posts something, and then some anti-Turk decides to turn the topic into a Turk-bashing venue.

Murat, you can post about something as benign as gardening, and the same thing would occur.

Unbelievable! Racism is everywhere.

Ardent said...

Robert, I want you to know that I am a very proud Australian. All I was doing was trying to point out that every country has a bloody past. Australia, America, England and all civilized nations as you put it have a bloody past. Even the Catholic Church has a bloody past, just like the Muslims. You are a proud nationalist, good on you. I have been to your blog site and I am impressed with your views and style. I do not support many of Turkey’s laws, but that does not mean that all Turks ought to be condemned.

I live in the best country in the world – Australia. I have traveled to Cyprus, Turkey, England, France, many countries in Asia, Hawaii and America. I believe Australia to be the best country in the World, followed by the United States. Even though I am a Turkish-Cypriot descendant, Cyprus is a hole. The only good thing about Cyprus is the friendliness of the local people, but Island offers very little as a tourist destination.

I am so lucky as I can take the best of both cultures: Australian and Turkish.

I must admit that some of the things you say are true, but for a reason. A few years ago my daughter was given a necklace from a friend who had visited Cyprus. I inadvertently discovered by accident that the emblem on the necklace featured a Kurdish motif. Well you are right, I confiscated the necklace. The reason why I did not want my daughter to wear it was because it could be construed that I support the PKK killing of Turkish soldiers and civilians. I believe that the Kurds have a right to live and follow their culture in Turkey, but when push comes to shove, I will take the Turkish side.

But having said that, my husband is a Commercial/Residential Builder and he employs many nationalities including Kurds. In Australia everyone has equal rights. On a work site the Turks do not taunt the Kurds, and the Kurds don’t bother with the Turks. They eat and drink together and they avoid politics.

My husband has a friend who is Kurdish and we frequent his restaurant. In the late of night, the Restaurant owner sings Kurdish songs which we enjoy, even if we don’t understand what he is singing. We also have so many Greek friends. I buy imported Greek produce and love Greek restaurants. Sorry I do not know any Armenians.

When I was growing up, my parents always insisted that when I marry it should be to a Turkish Cypriot man, not even a Turkish mainlander. To my parents there was a big difference between Cypriot men and Turkish Mainland men. They were too afraid to move out of their own tight knit community.

Now times are changing. I have relatives that have married Mainland Turks, Italians, Yugoslav, Australian and tomorrow one of my second-cousins is marrying a Croatian. Even religious people in Australia have had to change with the times. The President of our Turkish-Cypriot mosque has a Greek daughter-in-law. When my children decide to get married, I won’t care who they marry provided they love one another. My point is that Turkish people are not racist. Politics is a different story.
I do not know anything about Turkish political parties. You talk about the Grey wolves and the White Wolves. Well you lost me there. I spend a considerable amount of time reading, just trying to keep up with Australian and American politics.

Turks everywhere are just trying to get on with their lives. As a journalist you should grant us that and not require us to apologize for the actions of political leaders.

You are probably right Turkey has never apologized for much and there are certain current events that annoy the hell out of me. I am not proud of the fact that Turkey refuses to apologize for their certain actions. I also hate the law regarding ‘Insulting Turkishness’. But I do not focus on that, I see beauty in Turkey’s Cities, streets, parks, towns, mountains, beaches, culture, markets and Mosques. If Turkey is despised by 95% of the civilized world as you put it, I can’t understand their booming tourism market.

The United States is a wonderful country also, but I don’t like the Republicans and Neo-conservative policies. I can honestly say that one of the worst days of my life was when George Bush was re-elected. But today I am in total elation as the Democrats have taken control of Congress for the first time in 12 years. Congratulation to Nancy Polosi, the new speaker of the house!

To answer your other questions. The Australian government has been very mean spirited about giving land to Aboriginals. However our indigenous people do get the best medical care for free like the American Indians. Australians do not wear Aboriginal costume or jewelry, as Australians do not hold their culture with high esteem.

Turkey did not start the war in Cyprus. Don’t know how you can say that. Yes you are right; Northern Cyprus is not recognized by any other Country in the world. But the Turkish Cypriots are not bothered because they can sleep at night with the security of the Turkish troop’s presence within the Island. It’s sad but the Turkish Cypriots have lost confidence with the Greek-Cypriot politicians.

Cheers

Robert Lindsay said...

No, I have hardly met any Turkish people in my life. I used to know a couple of them who ran a landrymat where I used to live. They were just fine. Really, we hardly have any Turkish people in California, I think, otherwise I would have met some of them. Where I live there are a huge number of Armenians so Turks are not incredibly popular. For that matter, I have never met a Kurd either. I met quite a few Turkish women on the Net though. They used to come and talk to me on ICQ, apparently looking for friendship or romance. They were just fine. I was surprised how liberated they were. One I made angry by defending the PKK - she was actually a blond ethnic Georgian.

I don't like Turkish political culture, but I imagine it's only a small part of what being Turkish is all about. Other than that, I suppose they are just like people anywhere. As far as being hated, well, I base that on repeated UN resolutions condemning them. Other than that, I imagine your average tourist knows nothing about the place. When I condemn Turkish political culture, my relatives give me quizzical looks - they have no idea what I am talking about.

I have no "racial hatred" or racism towards Turkish people - anyway, they can change their political culture anytime they want to. I like these these kind of Turks just fine. Who knows, maybe they have millions of sympathizers?

To tell the truth, I really despise all radical nationalism. Mainline Greek, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Arab, Lebanese Maronite, Armenian, Spanish, Jewish, and even Kurdish nationalism is sickening and revolting. I guess it's not a nice corner of the world over there. I'm not singling Turkish nationalism out; it's pretty much like the other nasties I just mentioned. Radical nationalism is a nasty little beast; I urge you to consider the consequences and exercise caution as you play with this particular box of matches. It's like you all are diving into a pool of water without bothering to check how deep it is.

Ardent, thx for comments. I know nothing of Cyprus other than that the world seems to think that Turkey is wrong.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Ardent said.. "Congratulation to Nancy Polosi, the new speaker of the house!"
Congratulations, yes. Trust? No. Nancy Pelosi has some history which might take the wind out of your sails.. Have a look at this, and the numerous comments which follow: http://www.fresnobeehive.com/opinion/2006/10/would_speaker_pelosi_push_arme.html

Robert Lindsay said...

Hehe. Let's hope she does.

That's my hometown paper. I told you there are tons of Armenians out here. You know what's really weird? I keep thinking the Armenians are Jews. They look like em, act like em, the whole nine yards. They're even kind of paranoid like Jews. They're more Old Worldish than Jews, though. The Jews around here are really assimilated. The Armenians still have a lot of connection back to Armenia and are not totally assimilated to US society. I kind of like them, though, and they have good food. Especially that strong coffee!

Murat Altinbasak said...

"The Armenians still have a lot of connection back to Armenia and are not totally assimilated to US society."
Armenians don't give a squirt of piss for their homeland.. It's a mafia infested nest of corruption and poverty.. Some Armenians I've chatted with never want to go back there, even for a visit. You want to talk about ass-backwards third world countries? Talk about Armenia.If they cared half as much about their home country as they did, say... perpetuating myths, buying the truth and selling their lies, Armenia might have a half decent future.

Gamze said...

Murat, you are so right. I have yet to meet an Armenian who has visited Armenia and said "I can't wait to go back". In fact, they say that will never return because it's such a backwards country. I had a laugh when Robert wrote about how Armenians have such close ties to their homeland!

I was born and raised in the U.S. and count down the days with excitement everytime I get to plan a trip to Turkey.

And given that tourism in Turkey is 28 BILLION dollar a year industry, I have to think that many others feel the same way.

PLUS, TURKEY is consistently ranked in the TOP TEN TOURIST DESTINATIONS by the NYTimes EVERY WEEK.

Robert, you should plan a trip to Armenia with one of your Armenian friends. Then go to Turkey and get back to us with your assessment of the 2 countries.

p.s. I know that Turkish coffee is well known and liked...never heard of Armenian coffee.

Ardent said...

Murat, I would like to share with you the experience of my second-cousins weddings last night. It was real 'Yabanci Damat' stuff. My cousin had two Aunties come all the way from Cyprus to help join the festivities. Well, none of the boy's side came to the wedding. In fact the boy's parents told all their relatives that who ever attends the wedding are no longer welcome in their house. They wanted their son and the bride to be married in a church, but instead they chose to be married by an independant (no religion) celebrant. So the boy (who is of Croatian descent) only had his brother and friends there to help celebrate the evening! And they say that Turks are racist! During the speeches my cousin also thanked her in-laws even though they were not present, for bring into the world such a wonderful person and raising him to be such an intellegent and caring man. Everyone at the wedding had tears in their eyes.

Robert Lindsay said...

I have to disagree with you that Armenians have no connection with their homeland. Here, in one of the largest Armenian communities in the US, they surely do. For one thing, many here are recent immigrants. For another thing, many of them definitely seem to go back and forth between here and Armenia a lot. They are always taking trips there, etc. For one thing, most have relatives back there still. One thing though, they don't seem to want to go back there to live. Most are in agreement that independent Armenia is a pretty screwed up place, though. So, I really think that you are wrong. Further, most Armenians here seem to know their country inside out, its geography, its politics, etc. Many still speak Armenian and even teach their kids Armenian. You can often hear them speaking Armenian. And in terms of Americans around here, they are surely a lot less assimilated than one might think. For one thing, my friends tell me that Armenian women often won't date non-Armenian guys and many live at home til they get married.

I agree that Armenia is a mess. For one thing, it is Mafia-overrun. There is some spillover here with their gangs coming back here to commit crimes.

Lots of shitty countries are "great places to visit". Egypt, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, on and on. What do you think "nice place to VISIT" implies?

I guess Armenian coffee is more or less like Turkish coffee. You go into the Armenian restaurant and they serve you this kick-ass stuff they call Armenian coffee.

Oh no, you're not racist at all. You just committed one of the worst crimes of the 20th century and deny it and blame the victims just like neo-Nazi Holocaust Deniers. You just ethnically cleansed millions of Kurds in Kurdistan, wiped thousands of villages off the map and slaughtered their civilians in cold blood.

Why would anyone think you are racist, for god's sake.

Ardent said...

Murat I visited the site that you suggested regarding Nancy Pelosi. I did not realize that there were so many Armenians in California.

I think its time that Turkey comes clean on the Armenian issue. Unless they open their archives and let it be known, the Armenians are going to keep on increasing the nature and numbers of the atrocities. One and a half million seems to be an unimaginable number.

Perhaps the Turkish government might also wish to add; (Like the Americans said of the Indians and like the Australians said of the Aborigines) that the number of deaths of the Armenians can be attributed mainly to disease and not homicide.

In fact when the Anglo-Australians pushed the Aboriginals into the Australian Desert, these people were very much in harmony with their environment, so they knew where to burrow for food, how to make weapons and boomerangs and so the fittest were able to survive. When Turkey pushed the Armenians into the Syrian Desert, they unfortunately lacked nomadic survival skills that the Aborigines possessed.

To try and kill any race is abominable. But if it happened during the Ottoman Empire the current Turkish government should acknowledge the event. This does not mean the current government is to be held responsible. It is like finding the local Catholic priest accountable for the Inquisition.

Turkey needs to issue a response, as it is getting far too much heightened and magnified attention. You may wish to view this Program by the Australian Foreign Correspondent program which was broadcast in Australia in February 2006

http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2006/turkey_pamuk_200k.asx

Gamze said...

Robert, Do you have any friends??

Ardent said...

Gamze, I don’t appreciate your response to Robert. You are supposed to attack the opinion and NOT the person!

I enjoy Robert’s views. I find his line of argument to be articulate and entertaining, even if I sometimes don’t agree with what he is saying.

Often in life people have their head in the sand, not wanting to know what other people think,as it may be contrary to your own. I enjoy everyone’s opinion.

Robert Lindsay said...

Yes I do as a matter of fact. No Turkish friends though. Even girlfriends, believe it or not. At my age single guys like me are quite in demand.

Oh lol, Gamze is a woman. I thought she was a guy. She writes pretty well though.

I shouldn't have called Turkey a shitty country. That's a dumb thing to say. Now, Nigeria, that's a shitty country. Turkey is a much more complicated place and in a lot of ways it has good qualities. It's not completely 3rd worldish, just in some ways. In other ways, it is sort of like its European neighbors.

Yes murat, this part of CA here (Fresno) is swarming with Armenians! They came here to be farmers 80 yrs ago or so, with lots of other ethnic European types. Italians, Basques, Portuguese, Spaniards, Greeks...plus others like Filipinos, Chinese, and now Punjabis, Hmong, Lao...they all came here to be farmers. The more assimilated Armenians can be pretty cool people, but the less assimilated ones can be kind of weird. Some will hardly even talk to you if you're not an Armenian.

Thx for the rest of your post. That's a good starting point for a Turkish response. Anyway, modern Turks are not Young Turks.

Do you know what happened here in California? We not only stole their lands but for a few years we out and out killed them. For 20 yrs or so, it was pretty much legal to just kill any Indian you wanted to, for any reason. And lots were just killed. Any Indian woman could be made a slave and same with their kids. Plus you could just rape them too. If you wanted an Indian woman, you just kidnapped her and made her a wife or a maid in your house. You could steal the kids too and just keep them for your own. This was in California about 1850-1870. We were still ripping off their lands into the 1950's. If you tell that to an American, they usually won't freak out. They just shake their heads sadly and say how badly we used to treat them. In this part of CA, the Indian population suffered a loss of 93% of their population 1850-1890. Now that's a genocide! A lot of tribes are just gone forever apparently. And there were some massacres too. Up north (Eureka) they invited a whole tribe to dinner and poisoned the stew and 300 died.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Robert says: "Oh no, you're not racist at all. You just committed one of the worst crimes of the 20th century and deny it and blame the victims just like neo-Nazi Holocaust Deniers. You just ethnically cleansed millions of Kurds in Kurdistan, wiped thousands of villages off the map and slaughtered their civilians in cold blood."
Robert I forgive you for the above because you're a freak, like myself, but I can't help but point out again, your out-of-control use of the word "you". It's construed as a personal attack. If "you" take issues with Turkish historical events, please refer to the accused, not to present day Turks. I take that back, say whatever the hell you want. Just wanted you to know how I felt. Black people don't walk up to modern day confederates and say "you enslaved my grandparents". Come on, give it a rest. You are calling all Turks racist.. I already explained to you that there is a difference between nationalism and racism. Now you accuse Turks of both? And AGAIN with the flagrant violation of Godwin's Law. Technically, you lose this argument.

Robert Lindsay said...

Your ancestors did it, not you. How's about that? Is that more fair? I think you make a good point here. If you make friends with Indians here, you will get lots of hatred from time to time. You just learn to endure it. But it's really annoying. I feel like screaming at them, *I* did not do this to you, dammit! I guess they just need to vent.

Mainstream Turkish nationalism is one case of marriage of racism and nationalism writ large. That's why it's so pathological. Not that it has to be that way or anything. See Ardent for how a non-racist Turkish nationalism might look...

Gamze said...

ardent,

I'm gald to here that you enjoy everyone's opinions. I don't enjoy the comments made by racists nor do I value their opinions. But I guess you and I are very different people, thank God.

Ardent said...

Robert, you certainly know how to stir the pot with your sarcasm, which is then being construed as racism. Your comments are designed to get people to bite and then you are sitting back and enjoying the event.

One comment thougth:
'Single guys like me are quite in demand'
Are you tooting your own trumpet here?

'Lots of shitty countries are "great places to visit". Egypt, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, on and on. What do you think "nice place to VISIT" implies?'
If that comment is not designed to rub shit in our face, I don't know what is. Robert I promise you that Turkey is an absolutely beautiful place to visit. Take it from me because I am one of those blase people who are hard to please. JFK jnr went there for his honeymoon. Model Elle McPherson says it is one of her favorite destinations.

Truly I am not flying a nationalistic flag here. If I were trying to be nationalistic I would say Cyprus is a great destination, but it is not, according to my standards. Then again David Bowie loves to holiday in Northern Cyprus. Don't ask me why?

Robert please advise us with your infinite wisdom and charisma, which country you think would be a 'nice place to visit'. I am eager to learn of the yardstick that you use to access a destination.

Please keep your comments coming as I am being truly entertained.

Robert Lindsay said...

'Single guys like me are quite in demand'

Well, she said I didn't have any friends. Not so. Especially at my age, life is good. Wasn't always so. Stay single long enough and the women totally outnumber the men.

"Your comments are designed to get people to bite and then you are sitting back and enjoying the event."

It's called trolling.

"If that comment is not designed to rub shit in our face, I don't know what is."

It was, and I apologized for it. I really don't know Turkey well. I just hate its political culture, which is obviously sick.

"Truly I am not flying a nationalistic flag here."

Sure you are. Is it bad?

"If I were trying to be nationalistic I would say Cyprus is a great destination, but it is not, according to my standards."

Not really. A nationalist need not be an idiot. He just loves his country and wants the best for it, which allows for a huge range of definitions. The anti-nationalist could care less if his country goes down the tubes and does things to screw over the country. Like the idiots flooding America with 12 million illegal Mexicans and cheering while they nuke our working class wages and turn my whole state into downtown Oaxaca, for instance. I get called fascist, racist, nationalist all the time (just like you guys do) just for bringing that up. I'm not allowed to put America first. I'm supposed to allow 1/2 the world flood in here and sit back and laugh while the US turns into Calcutta, cuz that is the "Leftist, internationalist, no borders" thing to do.

One of my Mom's friends goes to Turkey all the time. It's her favorite place to visit in all Europe. My Mom thinks it's weird but maybe the woman is onto something.

Your intention was to show that if a country that is a tourist attraction, it must be some kind of a great country. Bad yardstick. Not so. Just means it's a great tourist attraction. It may well be a perfectly crappy place to live. That's why people say, "Nice place to visit (implied: but wouldn't want to live there)".

"Robert please advise us with your infinite wisdom and charisma, which country you think would be a 'nice place to visit'."

Turkey? I'm not saying Turkey is a lousy place to visit; maybe it's a great place to tour. I'm just pointing out that doesn't necessarily make it a wonderful country. Try another yardstick.

Robert Lindsay said...

murat, this is the crappiest commenter ever made. Why don't you put Haloscan on here? None of the bigger bloggers use this horrid Blogger commenter. The install is automated and Haloscan just goes right on. Click the buttons and it installs itself.

Murat Altinbasak said...

I tried that once, but when I made the switch to Haloscan, every single old comment of the past 18 months disappeared, and so I switched back, having saved the original data. If I preserve the old stuff, I'll do it.

Robert Lindsay said...

I think you can keep both comments, but I am not sure. I have seen people with both commenting systems going at once. Not sure how that works.