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13 October 2007


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Clifford Kiracofe

1. From the spiritual leader of the Armenians in Turkey:

"Mesrob II to take resolution concern to US State Dept.
Reiterating his community's objection to a resolution approved by a US Congress committee branding the 1915 killings of Anatolian Armenians as genocide, the spiritual leader of Turkey's Armenian Orthodox community on Thursday said he planned to speak with US State Department officials later in the day in order to voice his community's stance.

"Patriarch Mesrob II (Mutafyan) was received by President Abdullah Gül at the presidential palace.
Patriarch Mesrob II (Mutafyan) was speaking to reporters following his talks with Turkish Parliament Speaker Köksal Toptan in Ankara, where he also held talks with President Abdullah Gül later in the day.

"The patriarch stressed that he would speak with officials from the US State Department over the telephone in order to express his views concerning the issue....

"Mesrob II had already said earlier that the Armenian issue has always been used as “domestic policy material” and is constantly brought to the agenda in the United States. He urged keeping the Armenian community in Turkey out of ongoing controversy over the issue. “We’ve been concerned because this resolution will have an impact on the lives of Turkish citizens of Armenian origin living in Turkey. We are against this resolution. We have always been against this resolution. We will write whatever necessary to related officials in the US. We will exert the necessary efforts to prevent its passage,” he said earlier this week."

2. Here is a list of the "Armenia Caucus" in the 109th Congress:

Perhaps the Caucus, and other, members sponsoring HR 106 should explain to their constituents and to the American people just how it is the Armenian community in Turkey (not to mention the Jewish community in Turkey) opposes the US Armenian "ethnic" lobby's bill HR 106 which they support.

3. Turkey has restored the ancient Church of the Holy Cross in Van.



I have always opposed "symbolic legislation". It's just another example of the ongoing triumph of form over substance.

Martin K

Interesting conjectures: Turkey-Syria, Russia-Iran at the same time.

Clifford Kiracofe

More background on the situation:

"And the Turks are friends with Iran, since both share a similar concern about Kurdish fundamentalism. The more the US does nothing about the PKK, the stronger Turkey's friendship will grow with the Islamic Republic. Last year, in discussing ways to combat the PKK, Ankara welcomed Ali Larijani, the chief negotiator of Iran's nuclear portfolio, weeks after Erdogan had met President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Azerbaijan in May 2006. One reason for the honeymoon was because it was in Iran's interest as well to root out Kurdish fundamentalism. At the same time, Iran was searching for regional heavyweight friends in its confrontation with the US. While in Ankara, Larijani further upset the Americans by revealing that he had documents detailing US meetings with the "terrorist" PKK in Mosul and Kirkuk. Larijani asked, "If the US is fighting terrorism, why then is it meeting with the PKK?"

"There is an unspoken tension between Ankara and Washington due to the fact that, whether it is unable or unwilling, the US has tolerated and ignored PKK activity against Turkey since 2003. Kurdish rebels are permitted to roam the streets freely and have access to stockpiles of ammunition in Iraq.
In 2005, the Turks broke their estrangement with Syria when President Ahmad Nejdet Sezar visited Damascus to meet President Bashar al-Assad. The Americans had loudly asked him not to make the visit, but Sezar insisted. In February 2006, Ankara again defied the US by receiving Khalid Meshaal, the head of the political bureau of Hamas."

Larijani just gave up the nuclear portfolio. Is he brushing up on Kurdish issues and relations with Turkey prior to Turkish cross-border operations against the PKK?

Clifford Kiracofe

1. Here's an interesting update and take you don't find in the US media. It would be interesting to hear how the Armenian-"American" Lobby explains the present country of Armenia's relations with Iran (and Russia.) And then explains the current lobbying of Congress per Schiff's HR 106.

"MOSCOW. (Levon Melik-Shakhnazaryan for RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Armenia will add nothing new to the geopolitical alignment in the region.

It will merely restate the obvious. The strategic partnership between Armenia and Iran is an established fact, and this visit is unlikely to be seen as anything of a landmark.

Nor will it affect relations between Armenia and the United States. Armenia is effectively under a blockade, and America knows this. One of the indirect agents of the blockade is Georgia - America's closest ally in the region. More direct participants are other U.S. partners - Azerbaijan and Turkey.

In this context, friendly relations between Iran and Armenia are only natural. Whether one likes it or not, Armenia will be friendly with neighbors with which circumstances, history and common cultural background force it to be friends. ....
Azerbaijan has been an active participant in many regional projects with a manifest anti-Iranian and anti-Russian bias. They include communications projects, oil pipelines, gas pipelines, and Caspian oil production.....
In turn, Armenia's relations with Iran are a fine example of the fact that Christianity and Islam can co-exist peacefully, and that the religious factor in inter-ethnic and inter-state relations needn't play a decisive role.

A Moscow-Yerevan-Tehran axis appears to be crystallizing."

2. For some context in the geopolitical narcissism vein, consult the American foreign policy Establishment's geopolitical "guru", Polish-Canadian Zbig Brzezinski:

"An independent, Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan, with pipelines running from it to the ethnically related and politically supportive Turkey, would prevent Russia from exercising a monopoly on access to the region and would this also deprive Russia of decisive political leverage over the policies of the new Central Asian states."
From his, The Grand Chessboard.American Primacy and Geostrategic Imperatives (New York: Basic Books, 1997), p. 129.

As I recall, Zbig was lining his pockets as a consultant to BP and the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project.
"“Former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was a consultant to BP during the Bill Clinton era, urging Washington to back the project. In fact, it was Brzezinski who went to Baku in 1995, unofficially, on behalf of Clinton, to meet with then-Azeri(Azerbaijan) president Haidar Aliyev, to negotiate new independent Baku pipeline routes, including what became the BTC (Baku-Ceyhan) pipeline.”

“Brzezinski also sits on the board of an impressive, if little-known, U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (USACC). The chairman of the USACC in Washington is Tim Cejka, president of ExxonMobil Exploration. Other USACC board members include Henry Kissinger and James Baker III, the man who in 2003 personally went to Tbilisi to tell Eduard Shevardnadze that Washington wanted him to step aside in favor of the US-trained Georgian president Mikahil Shaakashvili. [The pipeline passes through Georgia]
Brent Scowcroft, former national security adviser to George H.W. Bush, also sits on the board of USACC. And (now Vice President) Cheney was a former board member until he became vice president. A more high-powered Washington team of geopolitical fixers would be hard to imagine.”

Zohrab Hadeshian

The Turkish point of view is, that what occured in Anatolia almost 100 years ago, never occured; that the Armenians simply evaporated. Although it is true that every government has a sad history they would rather forget, that history is there for study with the hopes of never being repeated. In deed, history unattended is bound to be repeated.

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