Tag Archives: Martial law

Death of a peace process: martial law returns to Turkey

Turkey has placed the Kurds and their struggle for human rights within a state of exception – outside the protections of due process of law.

By the International State Crime Initiative. Published 8-29-2015 on openDemocracy

Kurdish women pleading with a Turkish soldier.

Kurdish women pleading with a Turkish soldier.

The Kurdish peace process is over and a huge wave of violence has started in Turkey’s south-east.  The violence follows the killing of 33 Kurds in the Suruc bombing and the subsequent murders of two policemen in nearby Viransehir. Many fear that what is happening in Kurdish region of Turkey now is a return to the 1990s which were marked by widespread violence and state crimes. In this period much of Turkey’s south-east became what Agamben has described as a state of exception: martial law became normalised during the 1990s and the Kurdish region experienced intensely high levels of state crime including village destruction, massacres, extra-judicial killings, disappearances, mass forced displacement and endemic torture.

 

It seems that the nature of the Turkish state in relation to its Kurdish minority has not changed since the dark days of the 1990s – the inherited fear of Kurdish separatism and the Kurds themselves remains. We prefer to call it Kurdophobia, given that for 15 years the leaders of the Kurdish movement have made clear their demands are not for a separate nation but instead for equal citizenship in a democratic state.

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Everything’s Bigger In Texas – Especially The Crazy

Starting today, approximately 1,200 U.S. troops, mostly Special Operations forces, will participate in a two-month military training exercise named Jade Helm 15, which takes place across seven states in the American Southwest, including Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Jade Helm logo. Photo via YouTube

Jade Helm logo. Photo via YouTube

Normally, people would think “So what else is new?”, and continue on without a second thought. Military exercises aren’t anything new, after all. However, this isn’t the case with Jade Helm 15. A combination of the Internet, talk radio and toxic politics have made Jade Helm 15 a conspiracy theory fan’s delight. And, Ground Zero for all the insanity is the state of Texas, of course.

This shouldn’t really surprise anybody. After all, Texas is the home of some of the more “entertaining” characters in modern American politics, such as James Richard “Rick” Perry (the first person to run for a major party’s presidential nomination while facing a felony indictment), Louie “aspersions on my asparagus” Gohmert and, of course, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, who actually was born in a foreign country, yet whose eligibility for the presidency isn’t questioned. Oh – and we can’t forget the father of the modern libertarian movement (which is more a repackaging of John Birch Society ideals than anything else); Ron Paul. Continue reading

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