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.