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« "A Border Passage" by Leila Ahmed | Main | Slumming it out (Sujatha) »

June 23, 2012


Do Indians have a word for "cheesy?" And of course, the hordes in need of pacifying are all non-Europeans (did Greece beat up on Germany yet?). Turkey, take note.

Good God. I can somewhat forgive _Tintin au Congo_ but I can't forgive this. I'm a little surprised also that there was no dynamite vested Arab, surely a discriminatory oversight?

I seem to recall that the ad raised up quite a storm in a teacup when it first aired, with allegations of racism and stereotyping leading the list. Does this still air on TV? Who exactly would be impressed by what this conveys? Talk about counter-productive!
Maybe they should have dispensed with the Thurman lookalike and replaced her with a bearded Guruji. And added in a Brevik style guy in fatigues toting a machine-gun to the mix of threats.

Contrary to what seems obvious, I think there is a more subtle message to this TV ad. It's not just a heavy handed perpetuation of racist attitudes and fears towards THEM on the outside. It's a reminder of EU's non-Asian/non-African exclusivity and solidarity as Turkey sustains a campaign for eventual EU membership. Turkey wants EU membership in the worst way, and they'd give anything to get it. So far the message passed along to the Turks is to forget about making the EU a home in one large happy family. Instead, they were told, in no uncertain terms, that their proper place is to stay outside the EU and be a good example and a credit to their own people. By their own people I do not mean Turks. I mean Muslims.

I must disclose that the next thing I say is speculation and personal opinion. It is no accident that Turkey claims it lost a fighter plane over Syria, as a pretext to involving the EU/NATO military to take, or at least threaten, direct military action by the West against Syria. I wouldn't doubt for a moment that Turkey and EU/NATO may have orchestrated such a ploy. Turkey chomps at the bit to show the West how cooperative and indispensable they are to protect and further EU/NATO prerogatives and hegemony in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

I think EU membership will come eventually, given that Turkey is an important energy transit hub, and there is newly discovered oil in Turkey. Strategically, it borders Syria, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, Armenia, and it's a stone's throw away from Azerbaijan. If I am right, then you can be sure that Turkey extracted some real promises from the EU for advancing the fall of Assad. If I am right, then we will see a gradual morphing of this TV Ad into a message of, "There is room for all of us in the EU." Turkey is depicted as one of us.

I haven't been following the Turkey situation. Does Turkey still want EU membership badly? Also, is this ad meant to encourage or discourage Turkey's entry? The official aim of the ad is to increase the membership, but it's unlikely the portrayal of foreigners here is well suited to increase fraternal sympathies.

@ prasad,

Yes, Turkey really wants EU membership. The last voting round, within the past year, was the one I was referring to. In my view, the Ad is not intended to discourage Turkey. Rather, it is to influence general EU population attitudes to preserve the European exclusivity and to oppose any favorable view toward Turkey's inclusion. It is not necessary to name Turkey, explicitly. Of course, the Ad would have preceded any complication in the Syria situation.

The precursors to war or direct military action, by way of trumped up charges and staged or set up aggressive violations by the 'other' side, are predictable and easily spotted. As a precursor to the world's response to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, there was testimony before the US Congress of Iraqi soldiers disconnecting and stealing life support equipment from a hospital that was keeping infants alive in neo-natal ICU (Intensive Care Units.) After the first Gulf War it was determined that it was all a fabrication.

As soon as I read that a Turkey fighter plane, on routine patrol, was shot down by the Syrians, I immediately thought of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that hurled the US into an all out war in Vietnam. We know now that it was all a fabrication.

Norman, this is very interesting, thanks. In terms of politics I only noticed the BRIC (well, minus R, also implying the R-word angle) aspect of it. I hadn't thought of Turkey at all, but it makes sense that they might be the immediate 'ethnic' concern in the context of membership. I was a bit surprised Turkey still wants in re EU to be honest. I guess it's not clear to me what the impact would be upon an economy that's large and growing very strongly, but still poorer than Greece.

26 Jun. 2012

NAC Statement on the shooting down of a Turkish aircraft by Syria

Press Release (2012) 085

"The North Atlantic Council has met at Turkey's request to hold consultations within the framework of Article 4 of the Washington Treaty which states that "the Parties will consult whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any of the Parties is threatened."

"The North Atlantic Council discussed the shooting down of a Turkish aircraft by Syria. We consider this act to be unacceptable and condemn it in the strongest terms. It is another example of the Syrian authorities’ disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life.

"Our thoughts at this difficult time are with the missing Turkish aircrew, their families and their loved ones. We continue to follow the situation closely and with great concern, and will remain seized of developments on the South-Eastern border of NATO.

"The security of the Alliance is indivisible. We stand together with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity."

From Jill Dougherty, CNN, updated 10:53 AM EDT, Sun July 1, 2012

"Geneva, Switzerland (CNN) -- There is no guarantee that a sweeping new international agreement on Syria will succeed in ending the conflict there, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conceded, as opposition activists said the number of dead had skyrocketed in recent months.

""There is no guarantee that we are going to be successful. I just hate to say that," Clinton told CNN.

"But she expressed optimism that a new agreement hammered out Saturday would help ease President Bashar al-Assad out of power.

"The first plan backed by Russia and China as well as the West, it calls for a transitional government as a step towards ending the 16-month uprising."

BBC, 1 July 2012 Last updated at 11:09 ET

"Turkey scrambles F-16 jets on Syria border

"Turkey has scrambled six F-16 fighters jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border, the country's army says.

"Six jets were sent to the area in response to three such incidents on Saturday, the statement said, adding that there was no violation of Turkish airspace.

"Last month, Syrian forces shot down a Turkish jet in the border area.

"The incident further strained already tense relations between former allies.

"Turkey's government has been outspoken in its condemnation of Syria's response to the 16-month anti-government uprising, which has seen more than 30,000 Syrian refugees enter Turkey.

"On Friday, Turkey said it had begun deploying rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns along the border in response to the downing of its F-4 Phantom jet on 22 June.

"The move came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey had changed its rules of military engagement and would now treat any Syrian military approaching the border as a threat."

Once the Syrian matter is resolved, Turkey will get into the EU, if not on the next vote, then the one after. Understanding that the UN is, for the most part, an instrument of US foreign policy, all the ducks are in order for direct military action against Syria unless Assad decides to go, or accept Kofi Annan's [the US] plan. The US/NATO already says it will stand by Turkey, and should Syria take direct military action against Turkey or its assets, then US and NATO come down on Assad. The deal is already worked out with Russia and China. When (or if) there is military action against Assad, Russia and China will holler and protest, but nothing of lasting consequence will happen.

I'll bet you that after Assad we will never again see the kind of EU ads discussed here.

Oh, and the Turkey plane being shot down was a deliberate, orchestrated, provocation or setup or both.

I am quoting from my comment, above:

"The precursors to war...are predictable and easily spotted. ...[Before] the world's response to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, there was testimony before the US Congress of Iraqi soldiers disconnecting and stealing life support equipment from a [Kuwaiti] hospital that was keeping infants alive in neo-natal ICU (Intensive Care Units.) After the first Gulf War it was determined that it was all a fabrication."

Now, here it comes for direct military action in Syria. This from CNN:

"Syria's lethal injections
Patients at a military hospital in Syria were killed by "custom injections," a Syrian Army defector tells CNN."

"Syrian military defector: 'Those who were injected are lucky'"

"Colonel Abdalhamid Zakaria, a doctor and defector from the Syrian army, appeared Monday on Amanpour and described the appalling conditions in the Aleppo military hospital where he worked until his defection.

"Now a member of the Syrian Free Army, Col. Zakaria spoke from Istanbul, recalling how at Aleppo hospital he had treated Syrian soldiers, most of whom “were shot from behind when they refused to kill the civilians.”

"As for the civilian patients, he said they were treated “only when the regime is looking for further investigations.” But if they had no information to divulge, “the regime will kill them directly by many ways.”

"Among those lethal methods, he detailed “calcium injections, intravenously and rapidly causing cardiac arrest, or by using high doses of insulin causing hypoglycemic coma and finally death.”

"He added, “Those who were injected are lucky, compared to those left bleeding to death in the dark"

The CNN report, above, was filed under Christiane Amanpour, on Amanpour Blogs. However, the story was filed by someone named Lucky Gold, July 2nd, 2012, 05:29 PM ET.

So there we have it. A repeat performance of the tradition of shaping public opinion for war that goes back to The Spanish-American war with the sinking of the Battleship Maine. Then there was the Hun who ate babies for breakfast that enraged the British Isles in the First World War. The Godless Vietnamese Communists had put nails into the heads of Catholics - mimicking Jesus' crown of thorns - prior to our large scale involvement in Vietnam. This atrocity and many other atrocities were reported by Dr. Tom Dooley, missionary doctor. We learned this was a fabrication and that Tom Dooley was working for the CIA.

Yoga in some other places maybe not that popular enough. The people on that place don't know yet how beneficial yoga is- in terms of safeguarding their health. I want to quote the last words of the video, "The more we are, the stronger we are." This thus means in my own opinion that the more people who are making yoga as a habit, the stronger the people are.

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