8/01/2007

Don't Take Sides

Ok, I read this article today which suggests that the US government is planning to assist the Turkish government to attack the PKK in Iraq.

As you may know, the PKK has bases in Northern Iraq (aka Southern Kurdistan) from which they attack the Turkish military across the border.

Allegedly.

You know how I hate to drag up politics on the old blog.....

But, give me a break GW! Your willing to risk the peace and stability of Kurdistan on Turkey's anti-Kurd campaign of oppression and would-be genocide? Really?

Seriously?

I am appalled at my government.

In other news, Turkeys recent elections saw the first openly Kurdish candidates elected to the Turkish parliament - twenty of them to be exact. This is a big step in a country where being Kurdish is in fact outlawed. How do you outlaw a race of people?

Of course, the Kurds have their own issues. As previously noted on this (high-quality) blog, Iraq won the Asia Cup final a few days ago. This led to much hoopla, flag waving and literal dancing in the streets. Unfortunately for about 50 people, they waved the wrong flag. The Iraqi flag is illegal up here in Kurdistan, so eager Iraq supporters hoisted the hated flag and landed themselves in jail.

I saw at least 200 individual Iraqi flags on the street that evening just between my house and the place we watched the game, so I know most people were not hassled by the fuzz, but it's ridiculous that even 50 were.

Speaking of the fuzz, Todd and I got stopped at a checkpoint yesterday and had to hand over the registration and his ID (he was driving). Our registration is expired (long story) so they told him they'd keep his ID until we could prove we had a new registration.

I wasn't having any of that, so I got out and argued with the officer. He ignored me, so we went to speak to the officer in charge of the checkpoint. I had spoken to the lesser officer in Kurdish, but I wanted to be as American as possible for the leader; i knew I'd get farther. I again explained that it wasn't Todd's car, so they shouldn't keep his license. He didn't care. He said that's just how it's done.

I used Todd to translate, by the way. I think he secretly loves to translate for me when I argue with Kurdish people.

The officer told me I could go ahead and pay 7000 Dinar and get the ID back right away. I told him it sounded like bribery, but I am pretty sure Todd did not translate that.

So, I asked him for a copy of the traffic laws. You know, something written down that I could study to be sure that I didn't break any more laws. He laughed and said that this wasn't America. I said "Well, YOU must have learned these laws somehow since YOU know when I have broken one. Can I get a copy of what you used to study?"

I am pretty sure that Todd translated all of that. The police officer just shook his head and laughed.

And totally caved. We left with Todd's license.

Oh, and we have a thermometer at the office now. It's currently only about 106 degrees. Feels great!

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

H-U-S-T-L-E-R.....Hustler. That's right, rock on with your bad self. Arguing with Kurdish Police, making them laugh and keeping it real. That's what your're all about.