Tag Archives: Turkey

Steve parked in YY …Turkey faces blowback from allowing infiltration to Syria

By Steven R. Maher

There is a famous saying: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Like Syria earlier this decade, Turkey is finding out the hard way that the enemy of their enemy can quickly turn into their enemy.

The United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Shortly thereafter, foreign fighters began to flood the country.

“Senior Iraqi intelligence officers believe an Islamic militant group which has claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Irbil and a spate of deadly attacks in Baghdad, Falluja and Mosul is receiving significant help from Syria and Iran,” the Guardian, a respected British newspaper, reported on February 19, 2004. The Guardian recounted that Iraqi insurgents were “given shelter by Syrian and Iranian security agencies and have been able to enter Iraq with ease” and were “suspected of training suicide bombers and deploying them against US forces in Iraq and Iraqis considered to be collaborating with the US-led authorities.”

Jihadist Highway

At the time, Syrian President Bashir al-Assad was backing the Iraqi insurgents to drive the United States out of the Middle East. When the Arab spring unfolded in 2011, the Jihadists began using Turkey as an infiltration route to unseat Assad. Their efforts were made easier by the knowledge – and the networks set up – to use Syria to infiltrate Iraq.

Turkey’s Prime Minister wanted to see Assad toppled. As the Wall Street Journal reported on September 4, 2014, Turkey allowed the setting up of a “jihadist highway” that “let foreign militants slip across its border into Syria.” ISIS terrorists were allowed to use Turkey’s territory to rest, recuperate, and launch attacks against Syrian forces.

The chickens came to roost with this week’s bloody suicide bombing on Turkey’s main airport, the same airport used by foreign Jihadists to enter Turkey on their way to fight in Syria.

Lesson learned

One lesson to be learned from this is the danger of “blowback.” This was a term America became familiar with after 9/11, when it was used to describe the U.S. supplying arms to Afghans fighting the Soviet Union, who then created Al-Qaeda to war against the U.S. The Syrians saw their country destroyed by the blowback of their government’s support of terrorists to attack U.S. forces in Syria, and Turkey is now facing a very bloody blowback from their government’s decision to set up the “Jihadist highway.”

Another lesson to be learned is that the United States cannot put boots on the ground in the Middle East and engage in direct combat with ISIS.

That will only inflame the Middle East further, unite warring Jihadist factions against the U.S., and motivate some of America’s enemies to befriend each other. The U.S. should stick to its current strategy of using Special Forces, drones and air power to degrade ISIS.

This Thanksgiving Day, meet a turkey named Fern

By Jennifer O’Connor

Some years ago, when I interned at a sanctuary for farmed animals, I’d sit in the barn, and a turkey named Fern would back up into my lap and demand to be petted. When I’d stop, she’d look over her shoulder imploringly as if to say, “More, please.” I always think of Fern this time of year, when supermarket bins are filled with the frozen bodies of her relatives. If people got a chance to know these interesting and personable birds, I believe they’d balk at baking and eating their wings, legs and breasts.

Turkeys on farmed-animal sanctuaries quickly prove themselves to be intelligent and industrious, as well as outgoing at times and shy at others, much like human children. As I sat in the barn watching them, the birds’ distinct personalities were immediately clear. Some, bold and hilarious, would walk right up and look me square in the eye as if to challenge my right to invade their space. Others, like a coy debutante, would peer over their shoulders, aloof but not wanting to miss anything exciting. Many, like Fern, would actually purr when being petted.

In a game of “one does not belong,” one wild turkey integrated herself into the rescued flock. Her plumage was iridescent and she stood out like a beacon. Her robust health contrasted painfully with the crippled legs, mutilated beaks and unnatural white feathers of those around her who had been saved from slaughter. Even though the rescued birds were safe and tenderly cared for, their hideous past had left them physically and emotionally scarred for life.

Like other birds, turkeys thrive in fresh air and sunshine and spend most of their time taking dust baths and scratching in the dirt hunting for tasty treats. They “gossip” with friends and shelter their babies under outstretched wings. On factory farms, turkeys are crammed by the tens of thousands into massive warehouses where there is barely enough room to take a breath much less move around.

Factory-farmed birds live in a thick stew of their own waste. Part of their beak and the ends of their toes are painfully cut off to keep them from injuring one another in the extremely crowded and stressful conditions. Some develop congestive heart disease, enlarged livers and other illnesses. Their unnatural forced weight gain often cripples them since their legs cannot support their oversized bodies.

In slaughterhouses, terrified turkeys are hung upside-down and their heads are dragged through an electrified “stunning tank,” which immobilizes but does not kill them. Many turkeys flail and fight to save themselves and manage to dodge the tank, so they are still conscious when their throats are cut. And if the knife wielder fails to cut the birds’ throats properly—and given the thousands going down the line every hour, that’s exceedingly common—the animals end up getting scalded to death in the tanks of boiling water used to remove their feathers.

This Thanksgiving, please take a moment to reflect: Can the fleeting pleasure of a meal justify the immeasurable pain and suffering of a bird who didn’t want to die? Give turkeys like Fern a reason to purr. Stuff yourself with mashed potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie and other goodies and leave the birds alone.

Jennifer O’Connor is a staff writer with the PETA Foundation.

Mendon bird is runner-up in Turkey of the Year contest!

Dale the Turkey Is Among Top Rescued Fowl in Thanksgiving Competition

Mendon— Dale would have joined the millions of turkeys who become Thanksgiving dinner every year if Maple Farm Sanctuary hadn’t rescued him from a local turkey farm and given him a lifelong home. Now, the handsome, white-feathered Dale spends his time with his mate, Daphne, of whom he is very protective. Dale is vocal and friendly and loves to show off—so he’ll relish the attention that comes with being named the second runner-up in PETA’s first-ever Turkey of the Year contest for rescued birds. Starting this week, Dale will be among the rescued turkeys featured on PETA.org.

“Thanksgiving is murder on turkeys, but compassionate rescuers like Maple Farm Sanctuary give lucky birds like Dale something to be thankful for,” says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “Rescued turkeys have been given a second chance at a life free from suffering on crowded factory farms—and that’s the real prize.”

More than 250 million turkeys are killed in the U.S. every year—including more than 40 million for Thanksgiving dinners alone. In nature, turkeys are protective and loving parents as well as spirited explorers who can climb trees and run as fast as 25 miles per hour. But most turkeys slated to be killed for food are crammed into filthy warehouses, where disease, smothering, and heart attacks are common. Turkeys are drugged and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs often become crippled under the weight.

The winner of PETA’s contest, Jake, lives in North Carolina. Dale’s fellow runner-up, Tomas, lives in Rhode Island.

War and genocide

By Richard Schmitt

It’s this time of year again, the season of genocide remembrances and conferences; President Barrack Obama went to Turkey and without using the dreaded word “genocide,” spoke harshly about the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Turks. It is the time of year to remember genocides and its victims.

The local paper displayed a bar graph of different genocides: 200,000 persons killed in Bosnia – Herzogovina from 1992 to 1995; 800,000 in Ruanda in 1994; 2 million in Cambodia under Pol Pot, 1975 – 1979; 6 million in the Nazi Holocaust, 1938 – 1945; 300,000 killed by the Japanese in Nanking, China, 1937- 1938; 7 million killed in Stalinist Russia during the forced collectivization of agriculture; 1.5 million killed in Armenia in 1915. Continue reading War and genocide