February 27, 2003
Scott Pound: The Other War That's in the Works

[Scott Pound has been posting to the Buffalo Poetics List a running diary of his time in Turkey which I will start posting here also. If I get inspired I'll go back and pick up some of the prior ones.]

2.27.03, 13:00, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

A former student of mine who recently graduated came back to campus to see me the other day. He was making the rounds announcing his impending marriage. Delighted for him, I said, “Congratulations! When?” He looked down at his feet for a few seconds and when he looked back up at me all the happiness had left his face. “I don’t know,” he said. “We will wait.” Standing between him and married life is 8-16 months of compulsory military service, and potentially an extended period of conflict in the region, conflict in which he may be personally involved. He thinks a U.S. invasion of Iraq would just be the beginning. He’s probably right.

Turkey’s main concern with regard to a possible war in Iraq (of many besides the economy) is the Iraqi Kurds. The Kurds in Iraq are substantial in number, presently occupy and govern their own territory, and have a large militia (70,000-130,000). In the event of a war that topples Sadam’s regime, they will be gunning for their own state.

Far from agreeing to let this happen, Turkey in fact proposes to move into Kurdish territory after the American invasion for the purpose of supplying “humanitarian aid.” Did I forget to mention that the Kurds are sitting on top of a lot of oil? Well, they are. Their Jerusalem is a city called Kirkuk, an “oil rich” place.

Needless to say, a Turkish presence in Northern Iraq would not be welcome and the leadership of the Iraqi Kurds has already promised that there would be conflict.

Peter W. Galbraith, writing in the New York Times, suggests that the Iraqi Kurds are again about to be double-crossed by the U.S.


My student and I continued to talk for a while, about the war, not his marriage. The silences between our talk grew longer and longer. Finally, he stood up, dejected, shook my hand, said goodbye and left.

"The mother tongue is propaganda"
--Marshall McLuhan (1965)

Scott Pound
Assistant Professor
Department of American Culture and Literature
Bilkent University
TR-06800 Bilkent, Ankara

+90 (312) 290 3115 (office)
+90 (312) 290 2791 (home)
+90 (312) 266 4081 (fax)

Posted by Brian Stefans at February 27, 2003 04:34 PM


Looking for you but can't find your email address. Write me at cdevenne@haverford.edu


Posted by: Chris Devenney on March 10, 2003 01:20 PM

This is a very sad but real problem in times like these.

May I make a suggest? Be sure that this person understands that there are good reasons for him to be there, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE WAR.

Everyone knows that Saddam is a monster. Even the UN countries against the war have not tried to change our minds about that. Yes, you might not agree with the war, but nothing would be worse for your friends and relatives (our troops) if they do not feel they are being supported at home.

They need to know you are with them.

If you have a problem giving them a pep talk, try showing them things such as these:



Anything to get them to understand that GOOD will come from them being there.

Posted by: Paul Hart on March 11, 2003 11:33 AM

Note the new asterisks whenever we reference favoriteNumber, except for that new line right before the return.

Posted by: Salamon on January 19, 2004 05:47 AM

To address this issue, we turn to the second place to put variables, which is called the Heap. If you think of the Stack as a high-rise apartment building somewhere, variables as tenets and each level building atop the one before it, then the Heap is the suburban sprawl, every citizen finding a space for herself, each lot a different size and locations that can't be readily predictable. For all the simplicity offered by the Stack, the Heap seems positively chaotic, but the reality is that each just obeys its own rules.

Posted by: Miles on January 19, 2004 05:47 AM

When a variable is finished with it's work, it does not go into retirement, and it is never mentioned again. Variables simply cease to exist, and the thirty-two bits of data that they held is released, so that some other variable may later use them.

Posted by: Constance on January 19, 2004 05:48 AM

For this program, it was a bit of overkill. It's a lot of overkill, actually. There's usually no need to store integers in the Heap, unless you're making a whole lot of them. But even in this simpler form, it gives us a little bit more flexibility than we had before, in that we can create and destroy variables as we need, without having to worry about the Stack. It also demonstrates a new variable type, the pointer, which you will use extensively throughout your programming. And it is a pattern that is ubiquitous in Cocoa, so it is a pattern you will need to understand, even though Cocoa makes it much more transparent than it is here.

Posted by: Sarah on January 19, 2004 05:49 AM

Note first that favoriteNumbers type changed. Instead of our familiar int, we're now using int*. The asterisk here is an operator, which is often called the "star operator". You will remember that we also use an asterisk as a sign for multiplication. The positioning of the asterisk changes its meaning. This operator effectively means "this is a pointer". Here it says that favoriteNumber will be not an int but a pointer to an int. And instead of simply going on to say what we're putting in that int, we have to take an extra step and create the space, which is what does. This function takes an argument that specifies how much space you need and then returns a pointer to that space. We've passed it the result of another function, , which we pass int, a type. In reality, is a macro, but for now we don't have to care: all we need to know is that it tells us the size of whatever we gave it, in this case an int. So when is done, it gives us an address in the heap where we can put an integer. It is important to remember that the data is stored in the heap, while the address of that data is stored in a pointer on the stack.

Posted by: Thadeus on January 19, 2004 05:50 AM