Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why Turkey Will Never Be Allowed Into the European Union

In the wake of the recent elections in Turkey we've been hearing a lot in the news media about Turkey's aspirations for membership in the European Union (EU) as well as the challenges it faces in achieving this goal. Reporters have been especially great at reiterating a lot of Orientalist discourse about Turkey not being "European" or a lot of Neoliberal bullshit about Turkey's human rights record and we're told that these are the primary obstacles to Turkey's entry into the EU. But is this really what's going on?

Let's look at what Nicholas Sarkozy actually said about the issue in his debate with Segolene Royale before the French presidential elections:

"Ceux qui souhaitent l’entrée de la Turquie en Europe sont ceux qui ne croient pas à l’Europe politique. C’est la mort de l’Europe politique" (Those who hope for the entry of Turkey in the EU are those who do not believe in a political Europe. It's the death of a political Europe).

Politics is about power. What Sarkozy said was that Turkey's entry into the EU would mean the end of the latter as a world power. Why?

I'll start my answer to this question by looking at the most prominent party among those who are hoping for the entry of Turkey in the EU. That's right, you guessed it, the good old USA.

Turkey's entry in the EU is part of the US's plan for rendering Europe completely dependent on a US-dominated energy infrastructure stretching from the Caspian through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Turkey's entry into the EU would also be the last nail in the coffin in which plans fo any independent European military force would be buried. The US-dominated North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), of which Turkey is a key member, would remain the sole guarantor of security on the continent and the EU would be nothing but a free-trade zone dominated by a hegemonic US in a unipolar New World Order.

Unfortunately for the US, like so many of the grandiose dreams of the US ruling class these days, this plan is all but dead. Russia has successfully secured all of the major gas and oil reserves in the Caspian (as of May 12, 2007) completely cutting out the US. In other words the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey pipeline is now empty. The EU's dependence on Russia for gas and oil is now solid and, unlike the US which seeks to weaken the EU and subordinate it to US interests, Russia supports a strong economic and political EU as a partner in its effort to push the US out of Eurasia.

Turkey could strengthen its economy and, more importantly, its sovereignty by looking eastwards to make strategic alliances -- Iran and Russia are two potential partners that come to mind. Otherwise, left out of the EU as well as the rapidly forming alliances in Asia (e.g. the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation), Turkey will be just another pawn in the US' losing play for global domination.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Al Qaeda is a Metaphor

First, on Tuesday, Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff wants us all to lock our windows and bolt our doors this Summer because he has a "gut feeling" that the evil Al Qaeda is coming to get us! Then, today, the Associated Press tells us that it's gotten hold of super top secret classified reports from U.S. intelligence agencies that Al Qaeda is the strongest it's been since before 9/11!

Holy shit man! I'd be soiling myself right now if I didn't know that Al Qaeda is about as real as my dream of spending a night with Bipasha Basu, Marylin Monroe, Vanessa Paradis, Ashwarya Rai and Natalie Wood.

Here's what Martin Scheinin (Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) has to say about Al Qaeda:

... I don’t see the global war between states and Al Qaeda as anything more than a metaphor. I don’t see Al Qaeda as qualifying as a global army that could be party of a global, never-ending armed conflict.

Scheinin, as a United Nations appointee, has to mince words. We don't. Al Qaeda is a metaphor that the U.S. government uses to inspire xenophobia (i.e. racism) among the people it controls. Al Qaeda is all people, especially people of color, who oppose U.S. interests whether they employ terrorist tactics or otherwise. What defines a terrorist act according to international law is a violent attack against the general populace. This is not the operative definition the U.S. government uses. When resistance fighters in Iraq attack U.S. soldiers they are not committing acts of terrorism as defined by international law. Yet, as far as the U.S. government is concerned, anyone in Iraq who opposes the U.S. military presence there is a terrorist -- hence the chimera ubiquitous in the U.S. news media known as Al Qaeda in Iraq. Ultimately we will be informed by our leaders that branches of Al Qaeda are firmly entrenched in every single region which is critical to the global hegemonic strategy of the U.S. ruling class.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Free Sami Al Haj!

Five-and-a-half years ago -- on December 15, 2001 -- U.S. military personnel captured Al Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Haj while he was en route to Afghanistan in Pakistan. He has since been held, with no criminal charges against him, as an "enemy combatant" in Guantanamo Bay. Sami, who is a Sudanese national with distinctly African features, reported to his attorney who was finally allowed to see him in December of 2005 that:
  • he has been tortured (e.g. forced to remain seated, exposed to the tropical sun, deprived of sleep, subjected to sexual abuse, confined in rooms in which extremely loud music was played, etc.)
  • he has been interrogated with the use of threats more than 130 times
  • he has a throat cancer that is not being treated
Why are the imperialists doing this to a cameraman (besides the fact that he is Arabic, Black, and Muslim)? Here's a hint: according to the London-based Guardian newspaper -- on September 26, 2005 -- U.S. officials offered Sami his freedom if he would agree to spy on Al Jazeera.

In other words the U.S. government claims to support freedom of speech yet it is trying to destroy a news outlet because of its distinctly balanced approach to current events in Western Asia (in March 2003, Al Jazeera was awarded by Index on Censorship -- an international group which campaigns against censorship -- for its "courage in circumventing censorship and contributing to the free exchange of information in the Arab world"). This isn't the first time the U.S. military has struck violently against Al Jazeera:
The U.S. government claims to care about the genocide against Black Sudanese people yet it is torturing at least one Black Sudanese man as I write this.

The U.S. government claims to fight for Democracy and the rule of law yet it is currently holding countless prisoners without due process.

There is no Global Islamic Conspiracy! This is as much a work of racist fiction as was Hitler's Global Judeo-Bolshevist Conspiracy.

For more about Sami:
To sign a petition: