Admittedly, the differences between American and Kurdish culture may be substantial–but still!
There were a few full frames of Kurdish faces in Debbie’s presentation, but very few. Most were of soil conditions, buildings, distant group shots, plants, and primitive schoolrooms. Perhaps more riveting was a photo of live grenades lining the shelves of a Kurdish family’s home. The Kurds exist in a no-man’s land where nobody, not even women journalists, is safe. Everyone, including the women must, of necessity, have lethal weapons (military grade) close at hand. Debbie often referred to ISIS sleeper cells the Kurds were intensely seeking in their midst. If the Kurds have no friends, ISIS members have less! Despite promises of delivery of a copy of the presentation video sans the Kurdish faces, it’s unlikely to be kept. At this point, the credibility of the principals, along with their agenda, must be questioned. Debbie has obliterated her FB page from view (at least to this reporter) and her sponsors appear to disingenuously engage in bargaining and sophomoric posturing regarding who can freely exercise 1st Amendment prerogatives.
Spoiler Alert:Due to ‘technical difficulties’ (I should have pushed the RECORD button twice), the audio link promised earlier won’t be happening. It was a pretty dry slog lasting over two hours anyway, and not many readers have an attention span that long. Debbie’s presentation was weak as it was very light on faces, something most readers are drawn to, and because it spent most of its 2-hours on contorted political theory proselytizing the deconstruction of the social order, demonizing patriarchy, and asking the audience to CALL their Congress critters–claiming they liked getting phone calls better than mail–like you’re actually going to get the Congress rep to pickup the phone. 🙂 Post polemics, Debbie was asked what her relationship to the Kurds was, if she was a Kurd, was born in the region, had family there, or was she a U.S. National. She admitted none of the above were true but for the fact she was an American. She’s published a book which is an amalgam of the Kurdish crisis conjoined with one political faction of Kurds which Debbie admitted an affinity for because their political ideology (deconstruction of the social order, a “3rd way”, i.e. neither capitalism nor communism/socialism. and an overwhelming dose of anti-patriarchy rhetoric without even a flimsy theory of government) aligned with hers. One suspects her book and speaking tour addressing a sequence of radical political venues generates some income. Whether this constitutes a conflict of interest with her professed concern over the safety of those Kurdish faces she had on public display is anyone’s guess. Is it possible Debbie is more concerned about being ‘scooped’?…that the emphasis is more on her relationship with her Kurdish comrades than the Kurds themselves? i.e. Is it all about her? Debbie was then asked about the religious composition of the Kurds. She thought about 75% of them were Muslim (Sunni), with a varying mix of Christians, Hindu, secular, and other faiths the Kurds were (she argued) very tolerant of, affording complete religious freedom in practicing one’s faith. Tensions over regional water resources, however, were another matter. Finally, Debbie was asked how militarily feasible it was for the U.S. to remain embedded with and militarily supplying the Kurds when the landlocked region they occupy was surrounded by enemy nation states antithetical to Kurdish dreams, hopes, and aspirations…or, indeed, even their survival when Turkey is a U.S. ally, Syria is a Russian ally, and Iran is currently an Iraqi ally. Debbie fecklessly insisted that Erdogan, the Turkish head of state, would never dare to move on the Kurds if the U. s. but only left 1,000 American soldiers in harm’s way. Debbie may be unfamiliar with the fact Erdogan had already done exactly that when he sent Turkish tanks to attack Kurdish Peshmerga outside the city of Mosul, a traditional Kurdish stronghold inside Iraq not so long ago. Only U.S. intervention prevented a bloodbath between our allies while America was fully engaged in a war of annihilation against ISIS. None of the Kurds’ enemies are willing to allow the U.S. military access to the Kurds under current circumstances. Is the U.S. expected to fight its own allies?…one of which has the largest and best equipped military in NATO save only for the U.S. itself? Debbie suggested the Turkish army had been too weakened from a purge after a failed coup attempt against Erdogan to dare challenge the U.S. in pursuing what Erdogan deems Kurdish terrorists the equivalent of ISIS itself. Debbie admitted it was complicated. One stunning revelation was Debbie’s inability to provide even a faint alibi for Kurdish perfidy. She displayed oil rigs in Kurdish occupied territory during her presentation. She also stated the Kurds had no refineries to distill/process the crude; the Syrians had destroyed all of them. Who were the Kurds selling the crude to, she was asked…to their enemies? It was ‘complicated’ she demurred. She went on to characterize certain accommodations the Kurds had agreed to satisfactory to their enemies. As she continued, the Kurdish cause began to resemble a movement more than a war of independence…something like our own ecoterrorists in principle if not in detail. Moreover, Debbie began to resemble on of the blind men who had his hand on on part of the Kurdish elephant’s anatomy. Debbie, to put it mildly, was in over her head. Or, as she said, “It’s complicated.” Indeed it IS complicated–perhaps too complicated for an American foreign policy in the region that has failed abysmally. If the Kurds have no friends, perhaps America has equally none in the region. ‘Friends’ often make the most dangerous enemies. Few Americans would welcome their son being shipped home in a Kurdish box. The U.S. foreign policy in the region is far too clueless to be making promises/commitments there to anyone, as it has proven repeatedly over the years. As Trump pointed out, there’s plenty of sand to fight over. Turkey was buying crude from ISIS and Saudi Arabia was secretly funding them as they were enemies of Iranian Shia, therefor Saudi Arabia’s ‘friends’. You see, it’s ‘complicated’. Saudi Arabia is more than willing to fight Iran to the last American. Q: Is it ok to demand payment for pictures?
A: If you are selling photos yes. If the public is taking photos of you or your performance/art then no. If you’re in the public eye then a member of the public may photograph/record you or your work without paying you or asking your permission so long as they aren’t selling said photo. The reason is this: Photographers have first amendment rights too, and you are in the public eye. And, prior restraint is a Constitutional no no. The Constitution is not a dead letter. EVERY journalist is a patriot by giving it life when they exercise our fundamental inalienable rights, especially in the face of street thugs who would destroy it without a record or accountability if left to their own devices. https://artistandbuskerrights.blogspot.com/