Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Independent Voices?

Independent - Turkey 2

If my comments on the astounding ignorance shown in an editorial on Turkey and the Middle East published in yesterday’s Independent needed any proof it came today from nowhere other than today’s Independent.  

Within 48 hours of Turkey’s decision to join the bombing of Isis in Syria, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, president of Turkey, revealed the breathtakingly cynical reasoning behind the move, when he sent planes into Northern Iraq to bomb the Kurds.

That Erdoğan couldn’t wait to get stuck in gives strong grounds to suspect there were strings attached to the arrangement. A tacit agreement that had it: if Turkey helps the U.S. and its allies bomb Isis in Syria; the U.S. and its allies will turn a blind eye to Turkey bombing the Kurds in Iraq.

Fights for Kurdish independence have been a continuing thorn both sides of the border between Turkey and Iraq for several decades. A ceasefire between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish government was seen to have been broken by the killing of two police officers last Thursday. Though the HPG, the armed wing of the PKK, has admitted carrying out the attack, they claim it was retaliation for a suicide bomb attack in the Turkish town of Suruç, near the Syrian frontier, which took 32 lives. The Kurds accused Turkey of being responsible for the Suruç bombing, in what would’ve amounted to a false flag operation to justify bombing Kurds in Iraq. Meanwhile, Turkey has pointed the finger at Isis. In light of the profound cynicism Erdoğan has displayed, especially with his sudden about turn on aerial bombing of Isis in Syria, the PKK have very good reason for their claim.

There is one tiny problem to all the skulduggery going on behind the scenes in Ankara. A problem that will almost certainly counteract the extra capacity afforded by the addition of Turkish planes to the coalition attacks on Isis in Syria. So far, aerial bombing has proved to be the least effective strategy in the war against Isis. The most successful battles against Isis have been fought on the ground in Northern Iraq by – you’ve guessed it – the very same Kurds Erdoğan is now bombing. If Erdoğan is allowed to continue attacking Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq it will inevitably lead to their weakening. This might serve the real aims of Sunni extemists elements wielding power in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. In common with NATO, these nations have shown little or no reluctance in sacrificing as many lives as it takes to achieve their ends. The goal of Sunni extremists is to achieve military superiority over Shiites in the Middle East solely in order to eradicate them. Whether the lives sacrificed belong to friend or foe is of no matter once they are perceived as obstacles to them achieving their ultimate aims. For, up until very recently, all parties to the war on Isis have lent financial and material support to the organisation one way or another. Arms, munitions, food, transport, medical aid and finances have all flowed its way. Though a little less obviously, they are probably still doing it.

But, if you think the Sunnis are plumbing the deepest depths of cynicism, their Western cohorts must take the biscuit in this bloody enterprise. As I wrote little more than a day ago: “Come to that, why go to all the bother of bombing Muslims if you can get them to do it themselves?” Though it pains me to say it, it really does seem the U.S. and Britain – in particular – don’t care which side is bombed as long as both are Muslim. Somewhere along the line our Western governments, and mainstream media, have lost their moral compass, and are leading us all into a morass of sheer evil.

So what will the Independent’s view on this latest development be? My hunch is they will look the other way.

Copyright © 2015 Bryan Hemming

9 comments on “Independent Voices?

  1. Nil
    July 27, 2015

    He does indeed – a while already…
    But after all he has seen, all he knows, wouldn’t you be rather bitter to see which way it has gone, still is going and that not many people seem to get what it is all about – or care…? It must make him feel like having shouted in the desert all those years…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nil
    July 27, 2015

    Sorry, my mistake… Disregard the last sentence there… 😉


    • Bryan Hemming
      July 27, 2015

      I don’t think your observation is so wide of the mark. The Independent is certainly heading downmarket, though it still has a couple of good writers. Unfortunately, a bit like me, that they’re getting on a bit, sometimes shows rather too much. Meanwhile, though slightly better on the writing front, The Guardian has little to feel very proud of, despite its constant bragging. The newspaper’s recent tendency towards sloganising is sinisterly reminiscent of Orwell. And most of its smug and self-satisfied, middle-class columnists are enough to make me throw up my breakfast,

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nil
        July 27, 2015

        You shouldn’t waste a good breakfast that way 😉

        I used to love Fisk in The Independent – sharp as a butchers knife… Even if I didn’t always agree with him…but well, that getting on thing happens to us all, if its any comfort 😉

        Sloganizing and also ‘simplifying’ seems to be a general tendency and is not only in the newspapers but on TV too… If you watch the news in several countries, it is almost frightening what things can be just omitted or twisted according to what they want you to believe… The ‘Greek Tragedy’ is a perfect example of that… and then it is my dinner that starts protesting 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bryan Hemming
        July 27, 2015

        Fisk is one of the writers I’m thinking of, though he occasionally seems a bit grumpy these days. He must have his reasons.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nil
    July 27, 2015

    No ranting today 🙂 Just thanks for calling the things by their names… And The Guardian sure beats The Independent 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colltales
    July 26, 2015

    Very revealing, Bryan. Sending this to Twitter as it seems so hard to find similarly lucid and thought-provoking takes throughout the media. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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