Ocalan's lawyer says US involved in capture, so does Nairobi editorial: Implications?

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Whether true or not, the following item may well cause problems vis a vis Kurdish retaliation, here or abroad--travelers, take note It's also an interesting exercise in spin: Turkey is a NATO ally, therefore will the US support Turkey in its capture (kidnapping?) of the Kurdish leader in Kenya? If so, how does that play against the US air patrols in the northern No-Fly Zone in Iraq, which I thought were, at least in part, to protect the very same Kurds from the Iraqis. Incidentally, news reports today say Turkey is attacking Kurds inside Iraq and Iraq is protesting. We do indeed live in interesting times.

Here's the news item and source of the accusation against the US, followed by a very refreshing editorial from Nairobi, containing a milder form of the accusation.


From The BBC (London):

. . .Meanwhile the Netherlands-based lawyer who is part of the international team representing Mr Ocalan accused Washington and Athens of having had a hand in his capture by Turkey. Both deny involvement.

The defence team was not allowed into Turkey when its members arrived on Wednesday. Britta Boehler told an Arabic newspaper on Friday that there was solid information about intelligence co-operation between the US and Greece to get Mr Ocalan out of Europe where it would be easier for him to be snatched. . .



From The Nation (Nairobi, Kenya), editorial:


Friday, February 19, 1999


Deliberate or blunder, Ocalan was a bad show

No one really believes Foreign Minister Bonaya Godana when he says that his department was totally in the dark about the arrival here of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

In the first place, it would be an admission of such monumental ineptitude he would be begging for the sack, and secondly, he knows that very few would believe him, anyway.

It is instructive that he did not mention anything about our intelligence network, an admission perhaps that either they do not work together or that his story would be even more implausible.

Standard procedure informs us that Brig (rtd) Wilson Boinnet will not be calling a press conference to tell the world what his officers saw or probably even did. But they certainly saw and did something.

The minister's statement should be seen simply for what it is: A poor effort at damage-control. It is an attempt to have its cake and eat it. It is just amazing that it failed to recognise that this is not just a small-time suspected thief or political irritant who could be handed over to a neighbouring country without even the media noticing.

This was a man Turkey desperately wanted and could do anything to get; he was a cult figure to the millions of Kurds who are fighting a separatist war against Turkey. He was in a super league where more powerful governments even refuse to play - Italy and Germany refused him entry.

Kenya, therefore, in making any decision, needed to weigh very carefully its options and the consequences of each. It is not being criticised here for necessarily making the right or wrong decision, but for showing incredible naivete in managing an extremely delicate affair and attempting a diversion.

We must assume the government suspected (if not knew) that Mr Ocalan was coming here, or had arrived here if we are to believe the story that a jet landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, and this most wanted man was walked into the country by the Greek diplomat without anyone raising an eyebrow. (My information is that even on presidential trips, passports of those in the entourage are collected and processed to fulfil immigration requirements).

We are also, of course, to assume that the highly sophisticated operation of capturing him and spiriting him out of the country was done while the entire government security machinery was asleep. Ha!

If the government was not sure about this visitor, it is a cinch that the highly awake secret services of the United States, Israel and other developed countries which routinely watch and monitor such characters confided in their counterparts here that we had a high-profile guest in our midst.

If we develop that logic further, a decision was taken presumably on the basis of what is in the best interests of the country and it probably went something like this: Facilitate his capture, with the connivance of Greece and enhance relations with all those countries not really sympathetic to the Kurdish crisis and, especially Turkey.

The official line, after the fact will be that we did not know, act pious and hurt and demand the recall of the Greek ambassador but not a severance of relations. It will probably blow over soon enough and life will resume normalcy. More importantly, we will have a few people who owe us a big one.

It probably could have worked but the thinking, at least among our own officials, never reckoned on the intensity of passion and feeling that Mr Ocalan or the Kurdish case generated. They also underestimated the global network of the Kurdish diaspora.

The fallout has been fast and furious and clearly, the government is staggered. It has closed its missions abroad and suddenly, its citizens out there have become possible targets of any crazed Kurd or their sympathisers.

Our ghastly August 7 last year experience with the bomb is a grim reminder that we are easy pickings for even mildly determined but motivated zealots.

This to me is the crux of the matter. There can be no legitimate reason to expose Kenyan citizens to such danger unless the reasons are clear. The US is a declared enemy of whoever it defines as terrorists and its citizens are duly warned whenever their travels and activities may bring them into contact with such characters who are keen to hit back.

Kenya's declared policy in international relations is the ambiguous friends to all and enemies of none.

We have not been unfriendly to Turkey before but neither have we indicated a distaste for the Kurdish cause. Reasonably therefore, the appropriate action would have been a refusal to allow Mr Ocalan entry or provide safe access to another haven.

There may be short-term gains which the government expects and which the public will be keenly on the look out for. They better be worth it as we now have some deadly enemies. If the improbable turns out to be true - that we actually did not know and were not involved - then the President has some thorough house-cleaning to do at foreign affairs and in the security machinery. The general management of the issue has been inept and highly deserving of a barb.


-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), February 19, 1999


And the relevance to Y2K is ????

The US finances the military in both Greece and Turkey, which is why you haven't seen any wars between them lately. The US is supporting Turkey in return for Turkey's agreeing to let us use their bases to bomb Iraq. We bomb Iraq because we need an international devil. The merits of the Kurds' cause are totally irrelevant.

-- xyz (questioner@x.com), February 19, 1999.

Y2K relevance:

". . . may well cause problems vis a vis Kurdish retaliation. . . . It's also an interesting exercise in spin. . . ."

Recent posts on this forum have centered around:

1) spurious reasons for Emergency Orders, including the possibility of terrorist attacks on US soil; and

2) how the government puts a certain spin on events.

Ocalan's capture has sparked massive protests all over the world, including self-immolation of some protestors and the shooting deaths of others. Such fervor very easily embraces, say, suicide bomb attacks against those perceived to have caused the problem, i.e, the US and others.

Given that several posters believe Y2K is a deliberate disaster created to produce a New World Order, I'm surprised there hasn't been a post saying the US deliberately engineered Ocalan's capture so that EOs could be enacted.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), February 19, 1999.

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