The fifth thing I agree with Bush about

I have once again come to agreement with the Bush administration on something, although not for the same reasons. I agree that Congress should not pass a resolution calling “genocide” the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians at the hands of Turks in wars at the outset of the 20th century. I don’t know anything about the historical facts (it may have indeed been genocide), but I think the resolution is partisan, unnecessary, and dangerous.

The Bush administration is afraid that it will anger the Turks so much that they will withdraw their allowance of U.S. air support from their airspace. This would cripple the U.S. effort in Iraq, and seriously undermine the war effort in Iraq. I’m OK with that—I think the U.S. needs to pull out anyway.

What concerns me is that the Turks are showing their displeasure at the resolution by increasing their posturing and preparation against the Kurds. They already have troops in Northern Iraq attempting to contain the PKK, a Kurdish separatist movement that the Turkish government regards as a terrorist organization, and they are looking to add more.

Essentially, the resolution could lead to a war in the last bastion of success in Iraq. Now I know the response of the Democratic-led Congress: “We have to tell the truth, no matter the consequences. Besides, it’s not our fault if a war happens to break out.” This is bunk. Timing is everything in politics, and the timing on this resolution is rotten. Abraham Lincoln kept the Emancipation Proclamation in his pocket for months waiting for the right time, marked by some Union victories and black Union soldiers showing effectiveness. Congress could certainly wait on this resolution until it was less likely to cost lives.

Moreover, where does this resolution fit in with the goals “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”? You shouldn’t try to end a war by risking starting another.

2 Comments

Traveler says:

It’s been a while since I’ve been here and I’m glad I checked in. I have to disagree with you on this. The Turks will continue to posture and saber rattle. That’s what they do and have done. They threatened to cut off all trade with France when a law was introduced making it a criminal offense to deny the Armenian genocide (much less than our non-binding resolution). Trade was in fact never cut off and has increased since the law was passed. This has been the case with many other countries.

I don’t think it will be any different with the US. The Turks are a lot of talk. They have already engaged the PKK in Northern Iraq and will continue to do so in a limited manner to fly under the international radar.

The genocide resolution resolution fits in perfectly with the ideals of the US. We preach human rights to others, yet refuse to recognize the atrocities being committed around the globe (let alone our own participation in human torture). This is a human rights issue and will go a long way to bring the US in line with the rest of the world (something we seem to have forgotten how to do). Besides, it’s non-binding and has nothing to do with the current governing body in Turkey.

The US needs to continue to recognize genocide for what it is. We should under no circumstance sweep it under the rug as we have done with Rwanda, Darfur, etc. etc. The US championed the cause to come to the aid of the Armenians when the genocide happened and we should champion the recognition that it in deed took place.

I need to do some more research, but I believe recognition of the Armenian genocide is, or will become, a condition of Turkey’s admittance to the EU. Good luck there. Genocide should not be ignored, nor should it be downplayed as insignificant or overblown. The EU seems to have figured this one out. Why can’t we?

Nancy Pelosi has put the resolution on the back burner for now, but has reassured her commitment to bring it to the full House for a vote. I hope she does. There are enough representatives in congress committed to pass it with a handy majority too. I’ve called Rep. Cannon several times and expressed my support and have urged all of my friends and family to call their representatives as well.

I’ll get a good chuckle when the Turks back down from all of the saber rattling and fear-mongering rhetoric as they have done with everyone else. Precedence is on our side.

Traveler says:

Also as a footnote, the number of Armenians killed during the genocide is greatly debatable. The claim of hundreds of thousands as a factual number is misleading. Other accounts (other than the Turks’) indicate well over 1 million people were slaughtered by the Turks. I believe that something in between the two claims would be the most accurate.

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