March 30, 2007

A Bad Time To Pick A Fight

Let's see. The US is in the middle of a fight to secure Iraq, drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan, and end Islamist terrorism. Iran won't stop developing nuclear weapons, Syria assists them in funding and supplying Hezbollah, and Lebanon can't keep control over the sub-Litani region to keep Iranian proxies from antagonizing Israel. We have few allies in the region that supplies most of the world's industrial energy.

Under those circumstances, one would presume that the US would choose its fights carefully with those nations inclined to support us, and only risk their ire for the most pressing of national interests. One would presume that, but one would not have considered the foolishness of Democratic foreign policy:

A planned vote in Congress that would classify the widespread killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government early in the 20th century as genocide is threatening to make bilateral relations unusually tense.

The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, backs the resolution and at first wanted a vote in April. But under Turkish pressure, Bush administration figures have lobbied for the Democrats in charge of Congress to drop the measure.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates sent strong letters of protest to her and to Representative Tom Lantos, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, which has not set a date for the vote. “That has had an impact,” said Lynne Weil, a Lantos spokeswoman, referring to the letters. Copies were also sent to Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House minority leader. ...

Mr. Gates and Ms. Rice, in joint letters, spoke sympathetically of “the horrendous suffering that ethnic Armenians endured” and called for more study of the events. But they also noted that when the French National Assembly voted last year, the Turkish military responded by deciding to “cut all contacts with the French military and terminated defense contracts under negotiation.”

I agree that the Armenians suffered a genocide at the hands of the Turks. Anyone who reads history understands that. I also understand that it makes it no more true to have Congress pontificate on the issue.

Why do Nancy Pelosi and her party leadership consider this a pressing issue at all, let alone now? The genocide had nothing to do with the US. It happened over 90 years ago, halfway around the world. It has no impact on the US as it is -- but Congress' efforts to stick our nose into the controversy will have a great impact on our foreign policy, and all of it bad.

We need good relations with Turkey, if for no other reason than to use our leverage to keep them from invading northern Iraq and destroying the years of work we have put into our success with the Kurds. Our relations with Ankara are critical in maintaining connections to moderate Muslims, as well as to spread democracy through southwest Asia. They are an important counterweight to Iranian ambitions in the region and allow the West an opening in which to project strength against Teheran and Damascus. And so far, they have mostly stayed on our side during the war, only objecting to transiting American troops during the invasion of Iraq.

The Democrats, with their usual grandstanding on matters of irrelevancy, threaten all of these strategic interests just to pass a resolution that makes them feel important on an issue for which they have no provenance. How utterly typical.


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Comments (37)

Posted by scott [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 2:32 PM

Meanwhile, she will not allow a vote to condemn Iran for taking British hostages on the high seas.

I'd like to say unbelievable, but then again, I work in San Francisco.

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 2:33 PM

Democrats: seeking to undermine America and surrender since 1864.

Posted by TomB [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 2:35 PM

I think every Real Patriot would do the same – kick his/her own country AND his/her own elected President in a buttock, given a chance. Way to go Madam Speaker (or is it Madam Sneaker?)!

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 2:43 PM

Follow the money.

Pelosi has no sense of history prior 1960, so obviously she was put up to it.

Who is paying for this, or who has something that Pelosi wanted and why? Figure the odds of the press getting to the bottom of this issue . . .

By the way, do we actually have a working press in this nation, or have they all been replaced by DNC mouthpieces?

Posted by Bostonian [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 2:45 PM


Posted by Matt [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 2:59 PM

We've already completely isolated the entire middle-east and exponentially spread hatred for our foreign policies around the world. You have the president and his neo-cons to thank for that. Let the Democrats have their own fun isolating the rest of the countries in the region.

Genocide is genocide, and our government formally recognizes them as so whether or not they affected us in the past. If Turkey can't deal with their bloody past, that's their problem, not ours. I wouldn't be too worried about what the Turkish government is going to do, and I find it pretty hard to believe that they would react to it the same way they reacted to France, of all countries (because they're so similar to us right?). It's beyond paranoid to think that us recognizing Turkey's genocide of Armenians is going to be the final straw that triggers their decision to invade northern Iraq. Gimme a freakin break

Posted by Bill M [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 3:01 PM

The "Squeaker" continues to blaze a oblivion. Does she have a brain? Does she ever think? Does she.....never mind. This will cause difficulties for the US with Turkey. Iran is acting up and there is a possibility that Turkey could provide assistance in handling the situation should things go sideways. Can't have that, so let's insult the Turks right in the middle of Iran's defiance, just to make it harder for the US to respond.

That's the ticket. The "Squeaker" will throw sand in the gears of this administration any way she can. It doesn't matter what they are trying to do. It doesn't matter if our security is at stake. It doesn't matter if our troops are put at risk. If it will hurt the Bush Administration, then full speed ahead. Can't allow them to succeed. Can't allow anything good to come out. Can't put the country's interests ahead of their own warped political agenda. All hail the "Squeaker".

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 3:17 PM

"Genocide is genocide, and our government formally recognizes them as so whether or not they affected us in the past."

OK Matt, what are the odds Pelosi brings up the 1932-1933 Soviet starvation of millions of Ukranian "kulaks"? How about when the Chinese starved millions of Tibetans during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution? Will the Pelosi dingbat confront the Russians and the Chinese?

Pelosi is bringing this up for a political payoff. The only thing this dingbat knows about Greece is how to shop there. If we had an actual working press in this country, we'd find out who is paying Pelosi and why.

Posted by Freedom [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 3:37 PM

If genocide is genocide, how come Ms. Pelosi and her corageous democrat defenders of human rights haven't considered passing a resolution blasting the Sudanese government, for its backing of the Janjaweed militia that delights in raping fellow Muslims in Darfur? Why would they murder, rape and burn the villages of their own correligionists? Because the people in Darfur are not Arabs, even if they are Muslims.

Where is the outrage at the fact that 2.5 to 4 million people are being displaced, starved, murdered and raped? Where is the ourage at the Congo where hundreds of thousands of women are being raped and the men who try to defend them are murdered? Is it because Ms. Pelosi perhaps gives not a fig about rights of blacks in Africa? Where is the outrage at the plight of Sabian Mandaeans in Iraq, one of the oldest religions that faces a cruel systematic destruction at the hands of Muslims.

All these and so much more is happening now, not 90 years ago. But Pelosi, the most powerful woman in the world, seems too cowed to say anything, to do anything. She would rather alienate an ally than stand up to the IslamoFascists!

So much for courageous, so much for ushering a new era in Washington. The hypocrisy appalls me.

Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 4:00 PM

Okay, calm down. Take a breath.

If you need to ask who is pushing this, I'd practice on getting an imagination. It's not as sinister as you'd imagine.

There's a strong, vocal Armenian-American population that's been pressuring governments here and abroad to recognize the genocide because Turkey has not. Its a long-term strategy to pressure Turkey into diplomatic isolation on the issue.

No, I don't think Pelosi is "aiding the enemy" if she allows this vote; it's bizarre to think that this kind of resolution would be the tipping point for Turkey to start crushing Iraqi Kurds. If anything, it may show minority groups in the middle east that the United States acknowledges their past and current sufferings.

We could use the resolution to point out Iran's own abuse of its internal populations (the Kurds and Azeris, for one).

"Where is the outrage at the fact that 2.5 to 4 million people are being displaced, starved, murdered and raped? ....Is it because Ms. Pelosi perhaps gives not a fig about rights of blacks in Africa?"

I submit to you that very few governments anywhere are willing to stick their hands into that blender of a region. What use would UN peacekeepers be? Or even our own military, even if we have complete operational freedom? It's not because Pelosi secretly hates black Africans or is cold-hearted; its simply because we lack the means, the will, and the time to invest in ending that genocide.

Not that Bush is doing anything concrete either to help the Dafur region. Its not because he doesn't care about black people (Kanye West's protestations aside), its because WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING.


Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 5:20 PM

it gets worse. pelosi is now going to syria for a photo op and to fete an acknowledged terrorist in assad. her behavior and that of all the folks that hang with these murders is despicable.

these narcissistic morons actually think they can learn about or teach these monsters to see the light. what they are doing in fact is providing these repugnant human beings with applause. its very clear we are not in a war. during wars congressman etc do not have tea and cookies with the enemy.

Others traveling with Pelosi were Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Henry Waxman and Tom Lantos of California, Louise Slaughter of New York and Nick Rahall of West Virginia, and Ohio Republican David Hobson. Ellison is the first Muslim member of Congress.

Posted by C-Low [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 5:22 PM

This is not Democratic ignorance. This is outright SEDITION.

The goal of this worthless vote is to cuase as much of a rift between the US & Turkey as possible, why, the Dems know full well Turkey doesn't want to be dragged into war with the US against Iran but our historical alliance demands at least their allowing use of our bases there. This worlthless vote will go far to angering those traditional allies the Turkish military leadership and make the denial of bases that much easier for the Turks to do.

Add this to the fact Pelosi has REFUSED to allow vote on a hollow vote of support for one of our stuanchest allies Britian when they have 15 hostages being held by a sworn enemy, Add this to Pelosi's planned trip to Israel then Syria (riding shotgun with her is Ellison ya know the CAir congressman freshman) Congress doesn't make foreign policy this is bordering on soft coup to out out right quordination with known enemies thier is a name for that.

We are so past the "don't question thier patriotism" level that it is really getting sick. I am starting to believe that its just a matter of time before we have like in parts of EU outright admitted terrorist charities with aid concerts by Hollywood and pandering Dem politicians giving speechs, (of course it will be deemed freedom of speech and "don't question thier patriotism" remarks). True patriots in the eyes of the Dems are those that openly work to bring down the US.

Posted by Monique [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 5:46 PM

To be honest, I rarely post here though I read most of the comments as well as the Captain's posts. I have to agree with The Mechanical Eye on this one. The Armenian-American lobby is the impetus for this and they go through this every year. Every year this resolution comes up and every year the State Department has to forcefully lobby Congress not to pass it. But, I also have to disagree with the assessment that this will not be a tipping point. Turkey absolutely will not accept such a resolution and our relationship with Turkey would be forever badly damaged were Congress ever to pass it. That Pelosi has refused to allow other such votes probably has little bearing on this vote, but it certainly does show her colors.

Posted by philw [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 5:54 PM

Dead on about the Armenian lobby being the source, not that I blame them. There's a strong Armenian population in CA. I'm shocked, just shocked that Pelosi is pandering for votes.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 5:55 PM

No. It's NOT utterly typical!

Bush is in the pockets of the House of Saud.

The House of Saud just decided to make headline news by gambling they'd be considered the top of the heap, among arabs.


Most arabs hate the Saudi's guts.

Including MALIKI in Iraq!

So, along comes Iran. Takes hostages out of a rubber raft. Hostages that ply the waters to make sure nobody's shipping contraband.

And, instead of a big "thank you," for being part of the process of keeping the sea lanes in that part of the world, "free and clear of mischief," instead, what did you get?

A power play to toss the Saud's on their ass.

Their big Riyadh summit? A BUST.

What sort of a bust? Well. No headlines for the turbaned wonders!

Even the giraffe, Assad, showed up in Riyadh. Didn't kiss any rings, either. And, by the time he went home, he was still enscounced in Lebanon.

Score for Bush? Still set a ZERO.

With probably Tony Baloney Blair sitting it out in the penalty box.

Let alone if you'd want to depend on Commander Woods, of the CORNWALL. Heck, he could have been piloting the Titanic, for all the good it did the 15 hostages, to have an arsenal on board the warship!

Heck, folks. If you want to win, you have to make sure what the "team" is doing.

Bush? He's supporting the Saudis. Still is! 9/11 didn't teach the Bush's all that much.

While, like it or not. Pelosi got the votes to have her seat in the House. And, Bush can't dictate diddley.

Did you think Bush held sway with the American people?


Just the incompetent menagerie that got hired to work in the White House. Where there's a Disney type sign, outside. You gotta fit under the height requirements, to apply. And, it "halps" if you're not white. And, you're not male.

Well? Kyle Sampson is white. And, male. And, for some reason he doesn't seem to think much of AG Gonzales.

This, of course, means Bush will do everything to "keep his friend in office." Why not? Competence isn't required. Suits and ties, however, are a must.

Most Americans are not paying attention.

Similar things appeared back in 1978.

Getting angry at pelosi is such a waste of time.

There will be lessons to learn from this Bush, once he leaves office. And, we'll all be very lucky, when January 20, 2009 rolls around, IF the Saud's don't own any more real estate!

Behind the facade of "quiet" ... that's the hopes a lot of people who live in the Mideast actually have.

Posted by ck [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 6:00 PM

So you guys don't want to call them out on genocide?

Ok - hmmm...

I understand it might not be the best time, but when is it a good time to call a country out on genocide?

Anyway, I'm a bit surprised that we are now concerned with how other countries view us - Can't we just demand they like us?

Posted by scott [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 6:10 PM

Sorry, but I'm not buying the Armenian-American pressure.

Some 95% of all ethnic Armenians in the country are here in California. I was born and raised in Fresno, and they were there are still are. Many of my childhodd friends were the grandchildren of people who fled the Ottoman Empire. There are tens of thousands of them in LA now, immigrants from post-Soviet Armenia.

There are none in San Francisco, where I work.

I don't know what Pelosi's doing, but she doesn't need any Armenian support. Most of them here are Republicans, including a recent governor of ours, George Deukmajian.

Posted by mlv [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 7:20 PM

I was dial-flipping last weekend and came across Condoleeza Rice ("This looks good. Stop here.") on C-SPAN
before a house committee. I forget the name of the congressman, but one from California spent his whole time with her talking about the Armenian genocide, and why can't the US call it such. Secretary Rice gave pretty much the same answer she gave here.

I don't understand how the back rooms on capitol hill operate, but I can't help but wonder if that episode was related to Pelosi's actions?


Posted by gaffo [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 7:24 PM

So Captain - the Armenian genocide has nothing to do with the US, sort of like how 911 got nothing to do with Iraq?

Me thinks your assurtion that publically condemning genocide as bad policy is silly as can be. Illegally invading Iraq was the fucked policy bubba. and the Turks along with nearly the rest of the world have made this clear for those with eyes to see with.

Again, turkey is alot more outraged over our illegal invasion of Iraq than any resolution Congress passes on the Armenian genocide.

there is a reason our public relations is in the shitter and it ain't got nothin to do with Armenians - you need to pull it out. All the shit hit the fan when we illegally invaded Iraq.

simple reality Captian. - and I guess it does have a Liberal bias afterall.

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 7:25 PM

Well, is Pelosi going to talk to senior elected officials in Turkey like she's going to talk to senior dictatorial officials in Syria?

I doubt it. The Democrats have been quite sucessful at divide and conquer, and this is just another example. If the Dems can pass a resolution castigating Turkey, they may hope to gain some Armenian-American votes here. Here we would have a Republican Administration seemingly against the thought that a genocide had occurred, whilst the Dems go on record deploring it. It's quite obvious that this is not intended for external consumption (but will be anyway, like everything else the Dem's do to torpedo our foreign policies).

The Democrats see everything through the diffracting lens of race and ethnos, and always have -- they weren't the Party of Slavery for nothing.

It took the Republicans (in the persons of Ford and Reagan) to apologize for FDR's racist behavior in sending our Japanese-American citizens into concentration camps and for Truman's behavior in prosecuting and imprisoning Japanese-American super-patriot [and Republican] Iva Toguri.

Here we don't have apology for ones own actions, as with Reagan and Ford, we have accusation of another's ancestor's actions.

I fully expect the Turks to respond in kind about our dealings with the Native Americans. But that just plays into Dem hands, doesn't it?

Posted by Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 8:11 PM

Let's start with the moral basics, people: The Armenian genocide was not committed by Turkey; that is, not by the Republic of Turkey, which is the currently extant country.

It was committed by the Ottoman Empire, which lasted for about six centuries, from 1299 to sometime in the 1920s, depending on one's definition of destruction. It was the Ottoman Empire that massacred over a million Armenians during World War I.

But the Ottoman Empire is gone; gone like a freight train, gone like yesterday. It has ceased to exist. It is an ex-empire. It was carved up and apportioned to the victorious allies after that war; pieces were lopped off and donated to Great Britain, France, Italy, Greece -- and yes, to Armenia.

It is absurd to demand that the Republic of Turkey -- which didn't come into existence until 1923, created by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk... six years after the end of the genocide in 1917 (the year before the war ended) -- "apologize" for what another country did, one that was the polar opposite of the modern, secular, democratic state of today.

The Ottoman Empire also besieged Vienna, for God's sake. Twice. Should Austria demand an apology and reparations from today's Republic of Turkey?

It is just as absurd to demand that modern-day Japan make "reparations" for massacres and degredations committed by Imperial Japan, which was annihilated in 1945, or to insist upon "accountability" by the current Federal Republic of Germany for the Holocaust. Or for that matter, from the Russian Federation for the gulags of the USSR.

And no, the nation of Israel is not the same as the ancient kingdom of Israel; modern Israel's right to exist is entirely dependent upon contemporary reality and recent history, not upon a 3,000 year old divine compact.

The caravan moves on. Things change. Even countries die... you cannot continue to hold a grudge against all successor nations that happen to speak the same language.

This animus against modern Turkey for what the Ottomans did is as stupid as looking up Anthony Hiss and punching him in the nose for what his father, Alger, did. Moral guilt is not heritable.


Posted by Steffan [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 8:13 PM

If she'd bothered to study history at all, she would know that the current Turkish government overthrew the government that committed the Armenian genocide in 1922.

Mustafa Kemal Pasha, known to history as Ataturk, led the nationalist rebellion that overthrew Sultan Mehmed VI. It was Mehmed's brother, Mehmed V, who was Sultan during the genocide; Mehmed VI apologized for it in December 1918.

Democratic foreign policy seems to be insulting our friends and sucking up to our enemies.

Posted by ck [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 8:41 PM

Hey unclesmrgol: You are railing on Pelosi for going to syria right?

Guess what? There's a group of Republicans over there right now! Lol!! I know, I know - How in the world would the white house not catch that when they lambasted Pelosi for it? Well, that's the WH for ya -

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 10:33 PM

Okay, lets set up the strawman....... Pelosi pushing the Armanian thing.......which amounts to a hill of beans......then we all blow the strawman know how we dislike Pelosi, liberal from San Francisco......we pound our chests and call her a traitor (Bush sending troops into Iraq without bodyarmor, I guess that was not traitorous)then we all feel good about ripping her. But I guess in 2003 when neo-cons were ripping Turkey for not letting us use it to invade Northern Iraq, I guess that was all right too. Selective outrage I call that, will not work, try another line of attack!

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 30, 2007 11:34 PM

Once again, look at what the libs say, and you see how immature and intellectually bankrupt they are.

SanFran Nan, in her infinite wisdom, wants to dredge up history from ninety years ago to criticize one of our (damned few) allies in the muslim world.

Liberal response:

1. Moral prissiness ("It's about time we called the villainous Turk out for this!") even as they rail about how the hated Chimpy McBushitler has pissed off the entire muslim world against us.

2. Republicans are bad! Bush is stupid! We should never have gone to war in Iraq!

The only thing missing is a reference to Halliburton.

But, as others have pointed out, maybe SanFran Nan can get on a real roll:

--- Criticize Germany for the slaughter that occurred during the Thirty Years War.

--- Criticize the Vatican for the Crusades. Hey, it's never too late to criticize a war of aggression, right? And, anyway, don't we owe the muslims an apology? Maybe they'll like us if we only come clean about what we did to them almost a millenium ago.

--- Criticize the English for their repression of the Scottish and Irish.

--- Criticize the French for their repression of the Hugenots.

--- Criticize Mongolia for the Mongol invasion of the west.

--- Criticize Mexico and other Central American countries for their annihilation of the Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, and other native cultures.

--- Criticize Australia for their repression / near extermination of the aborigines.

--- Criticize Italy for the Roman wars of conquest.

You get the point. There are just so gosh-darned many countries around the world with sins that SanFran Nan and the US Congress haven't criticized! Let's do our best to piss all of them off!

By the way, how does SanFran Nan square the obvious hypocrisy of the United States - which ruthlessly destroyed various Indian tribes - criticizing Turkey for its ruthless genocide against the Armenians?

Posted by lexhamfox [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 1:16 AM

There is growing pressure for Turkey to recognize that historical fact that Ed calls out. The problem is that Turks simply deny it. They are very wekll educated when it comes to US crimes... I was once drawn into a public debate at a restaurant in Turkey where teh waiter started telling me how the Americans killed all the indians and had a bloody history of repression.. I couldn't take the irony so I mentioned Turkey's own little progrom and he got really upset saying it was just a few people and it wasn't becuase they wee Armenian.. then I mentioend the Kurds and he said Turks loved the Kurds and the Kurds loved Turkey... then a Kurdish waiter spoke up and said I was telling the truth about eh Kurds... that started and argument between them but I managed to get them off my back.

It would be nice if countries would stop building monuments to other country's atrocities... Ed knows about Armenia as do most people but it seems lost on the Turks. I don't think the Turks would be shocked by the US condeming the Armenian tragedy. Plenty of other countries have had legislators pass condemnation without it seriously impairing relations. The timing is a little odd but this has come before many times.. the Trifecta is tattered but still more or less plodding along.

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 1:20 AM


They shouldn't be over there either.

Posted by Karen [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 1:29 AM

I visited Turkey in 2005. Of all the countries we visited on this Mediteranean cruise, I liked Turkey the best. I was somewhat fearful of going into an all Muslim country during a war against Muslim terrorists being waged not so far away in Iraq. I didn't know what to expect. What I encountered was a fairly modern country, intelligent women who could dress how they liked, people who had pragmatic world views, kind people, modern buses, and an overall wonderful hospitality. I would go back in a heart beat. It was also fascinating seeing all of those historical biblical places.

I am impressed by the quarterly fans here. I was an engineer in college so my liberal arts background is sketchy. I only had the Western Civ to 1700 or so history class and that is it. I don't remember even studying the ottoman empire. I didn't know about the Armenian genocide and I didn't know that modern Turkey began AFTER that was over.

So this goes back to WHAT ARE THE DEMOCRATS THINKING?????????!!!!!!!!!! I have to admit I think it is more trying to keep Turkey mad at us so they won't be a strategic ally when needed. They just seem to run and embrace defeat. I just don't understand why they hate this country so much and want us to be crushed by our enemies.

Posted by SwabJockey05 [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 4:25 AM

Unclesm "They shouldn't be over there either. "

Probably right. But I'd suggest the fol caveat: Depends on why they are there and who they take with them as aids.

You may be surprised how much intel can be obtained by a political delegation visiting the "enemy".

Posted by Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 5:26 AM

Daffyd and Stefan

Please do not sugarcoat the modern Turkey as if everything re-started after Ataturk abolished the Caliphate (Much like a bankruptcy - is one of you a civil lawyer). Ataturk was a soldier and he was the guy who came out on top at the end of WWII. Mainly because of the failings of other Turks and the fact that he was a good soldier.

Turkey abbrogated its peace treaty and took back by force a good portion of what it had to cede as part of the peace treaty. Why were they able to do this - partly because those Europeans on the winning side did not have the fortitude (understandably so after the war on the Western Front) to fight back). There were numerous attrocities during the taking back process.

It is my understanding that the Turks do not really question what they (yes, They) did to the Armenians, they just question whether what they did meets the definition of Genocide. Much like the inital argument over Rwanda and what is now going on in the Sudan (Yes, all of Sudan).

Posted by Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 5:40 AM


A long time ago I attended a Foreign Military Assistance training course, along with numerous foreigners from places as diverse as Norway, Columbia, Greece, Australia, Germany and Turkey and the UK.

I sat at a table in between the Turkish and Greek attendees. My first thought was, who was the DH who designed this seating chart.

One the guest instructors who looked as if he could of come from anywhere started his lecture by explaining the seating plan - The Greeks and Turks could fight among each other but the US has to move between both worlds.

What the Congress is doing is making it harder for the US to move between both worlds. For someone critical of Bush for alienating Muslims she sure is sending a mixed message.

Posted by The Friendly Grizzly [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 6:59 AM

Number 3 comment TomB: That's madam (emphais on second sylable: "MahDAMN") speaker. Just like we may end up with MaDamn President.

Posted by Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 7:40 AM


It is my understanding that the Turks do not really question what they (yes, They) did to the Armenians.

The rhetorical ability of modern-day Turks is irrelevant to the moral point:

  • Nobody alive today took part in that massacre; the current leaders of Turkey were all born decades later.
  • The Republic of Turkey itself didn't even exist until years after the massacre.
  • Moral guilt is neither heritable nor contagious.

There are lots of things one can criticize contemporary Turkey for... their current treatment of the Kurds, for example. Let's stick to that and leave absurdist arguments -- about some free-floating miasma of moral turpitude that has descended upon Turkey -- on the cutting room floor, shall we?

Turkey is unquestionably the most democratic, free, and stable of all Moslem countries; but it nevertheless has a lot of problems. It is enough to deal with the latter; we needn't fret about what other Turkish-speaking people did in ages past.


Posted by FredTownWard [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 12:46 PM

I cannot entirely agree with your condemnation of Nancy Pelosi and the Dumbocrats over their moronic but nonbinding Armenian resolution. Is it stupid and irresponsible? Of course; they're Democrats! No further explanation is required.

However, the current government of Turkey, which of course has NO responsibility for the Armenian massacre beyond the idiocy of their continued denials it took place, is is in NO position to make demands that we continue to ignore what for them is an inconvenient truth. They are daily moving, by fits and starts, but definitely moving in the direction of Yet Another Islamofascist dictatorship (Kemal Ataturk's grave rotations must be approaching escape velocity). They have repeatedly stabbed us in the back over Iraq, starting with their denial of the northern front and continuing today with constant grumbling about how "their" oil was stolen from them and given to the Kurdish region of Iraq. Frankly, with Turkish voters disgracing themselves in every election, the best hope for freedom and democracy in Turkey is for a military coup that uses the opportunity of a LONG dictatorship to try and purge the political system of its Islamists, but the odds are certainly against it. When the People lose their collective minds, democracy ceases to work, see Democrat Party -- history of..

Of course that's no reason to DELIBERATELY try and provoke the Turks, but the Bush administration might be wise to take this opportunity to play "Good Cop". It is fine to commiserate with them over the irresponsibility of the Democrats, but the Turks should definitely be told that their shredding of several decades worth of slowly increasing good will from the Amercan people, not to mention the 2006 election results, have made it IMPOSSIBLE for something as silly as this request to continue ignoring the Armenian massacre to be listened to by ANYONE,

When Turkey's behavior as an ally starts to resemble Australia more and France less, THEN they might be able to ask us to be sensitive to their silly, non-historical issues, but for now, they can lump it,

unless they really WANT to take this opportunity of OPENLY joining the other side.

Posted by Newell Blair-Mann [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 1:42 PM

Why don't you guys complain about the republican representatives visiting Syria, Aderholt and Wolf? Where's the outrage? Is it just because Pelosi's a democrat?

Posted by Newell Blair-Mann [TypeKey Profile Page] | March 31, 2007 1:52 PM


It is illegal in Turkey to write that the genocide was a genocide, planned by the (Turkish) Ottoman government. The Turkish government completely denies any genocide took place and claims that only 300,000 Armenians which it claims were the result of other things. They don't admit anything.

Also, by your logic, if Germany committed the holocaust 30 years earlier would it be okay then if they denied it? In 30 years will German Holocaust denying be okay? After all by then all the people alive then will be dead, and moral guilt "isn't hereditary nor contagious."

And by the way, the Republic of Turkey was made up of many former Ottoman officials. It wasn't this totally new thing that had nothing to do with the centuries old empire preceding it. The RoT then immediately attacked Armenia, killed thousands of civilians, ethnically cleansed the area, and annexed West Armenia. This happened over 1920-1923.

Posted by Bostonian [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 1, 2007 9:54 AM

"Why don't you guys complain about the republican representatives visiting Syria, Aderholt and Wolf? Where's the outrage? Is it just because Pelosi's a democrat?"

No, it's because we don't think the Republicans are likely to be undermining the President's foreign policy.

Whereas Nancita is very likely to express her concern about the "rash" GOP and hold out hope for a "more reasonable" Democratic administration that offers no threat whatsoever to any dictator anywhere. "Just hold on," she will be saying.

And if she does that, BTW, it is treason.