Monday, 12 March 2007

Is there a Kurdish policy?

Korea is expected to bring home its troops from Iraq by the end of this year. They have "mission accomplished" in their area of responsibility, and the general consensus is that the locals will long cherish the contribution Korea has made to the region.

Well, that is until they see their villages being pounded by Korean made artillery and tanks. This is not such a far fetched idea as the following article published in The Korea Herald shows:

"Meanwhile, Lee Jun-kyu, policy director of the activist group, Civil Network for a Peaceful Korea, said the government's arms exports to Ankara show Korean policymakers' lack of strategic planning in their pursuit of the national interest. The peace activist notes that Turkey has a record of oppressing Kurds within its territory.
'It is nonsense that our country stations troops in the Kurdish region under the guise of a peace and reconstruction force while selling weapons to Turkey, which has a poor record in its treatment of Kurds. The government's policy has lost logical coherence,' said Lee. "

(Full report:

The apparent hypocrisy and mismanagement described in the article is a common thread that seems to run through the foreign policies of many countries when it comes to dealing with the Middle East.

And from the archives..

"According to figures released on Tuesday, at the latest count 589 rebels have been killed so far this year with the loss of 20 members of the security forces. More than 39,500 soldiers are involved in the offensive and they have completely ignored national sovereignty and crossed international borders. Since 1984 about 37,000 people have died in the conflict - the vast majority of them were civilians. Sorry, perhaps I should have mentioned this at the top of the paragraph, I am talking about NATO member and Gulf War ally, Turkey - not Yugoslavia.
Chris Gelken

4 May 1998
Hong Kong"

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