I heard this on National Pentagon Radio this morning: Saddam Hussein is again in court today, this time for an incident that resulted in the death of hundreds of "ethnic Kurds."
What is an ethnic Kurd? How is an ethnic Kurd different from any other kind of Kurd?
Since we can talk about Navajos, Manchurians, Berbers, Bantus, and other sociolinguistic ethnic groups without the ethnic prefix being necessary, why do we need to have it here? Google "ethnic navajos" and there's nothing, while "ethnic kurds" returns 95,000 hits.
Does this nomenclature reflect the pressure of the Turkish foreign ministry on American public radio newswriters?
I'm assuming to talk about "Kurds"--Turkish Kurds, for example, instead of Kurdish Turks--would be too much to take, given the close identification between Turkish nationality and Turkish ethnicity. Use of the noun instead of the adjective would be taken as proof that the writer supports Kurdish nationalism! Even the other option, to say that Saddam killed "Iraqi Kurds," could be taken as evidence of bias. It's as if the writer must introduce the adjective "ethnic" in order to reassure worried listeners that those killed were merely speakers of the Kurdish language and not violent PKK separatists...
Such close identification between nation and ethnicity would be far less likely in, for example, Syria, Egypt, or (still?) Iraq, the classic Arab nationalist states.
Which brings us back to the evilness (and counter-intuitiveness) of the current ethnic cleansing in Iraq: Where did all this come from? I have my ideas... And yes, this version does have something to with media, colonialism--of which Saddam was an agent--and self-fulfilling prophecies.