October 17, 2007

The Armenian Case

Over the last few days, I have criticized Congress for inexplicably deciding to enrage a key ally in the war on terror -- the nation through which our lines of communication pass to our troops in Iraq -- for a genocide that occurred almost a century ago. Putting Congressional idiocy aside for a moment, the fact is that the Armenians did suffer a terrible genocide by the Ottomans during World War I. Perhaps the best thoughts on this event unsurprisingly come from one of my best friends in the blogosphere, King Banaian at SCSU Scholars:

That said, I have not stood with the placards and shouted the shouts. I have spent years with friends who are Turkish, most of whom acknowledge what happened and what we all know to be true -- many people who say they are Turkish can go back in their own family trees and find Armenians as well as Greeks and Kurds and Jews. Turkey wasn't always for the Turks. At one time, it was as multicultural a place as anywhere in the Middle East. The persons defending Turkey from the charges of genocide today may in fact be partly Armenian. Turkey for the Turks wasn't always the watchword.

I did once attend a commemoration at Claremont for the 80th anniversary of April 24, what we call Martyrs Day. Armenian-American students whom I was advising organized a panel, emceed by Mrs. Scholar -- while I held our infant Littlest in the back -- and to which we had brought a survivor who was 85 by this time and was six during the march to Der el-Zor. While he spoke we got treated to people with their own placards and shouts. Tempers flared as they said we were liars. My aunt, who lives in southern California and was in attendance, became very angry. But instead we talked with these Turkish students, who said they were told about this meeting not by our signs around campus but by letter. They never said who sent it, but I have a guess. When asked what they know about the history of the Armenians and Greeks of their country during and after World War I, they said they did not really know the stories, they were not taught. We eventually settled down, shook hands and went on our way, we back to our memories and parents telling us stories, and they back to their fatherland and ... nothing.

So Ataturk made a great nation, we are told, and its grandchildren do not know enough to form a good opinion.

Turkey should acknowledge what its predecessor nation did to the Armenians. Without a doubt, it would ease tensions and help to right an old wrong. As James Taranto says, "A great nation needs a thick skin."

However, Congress does not exist to validate genocides. If it wants to start, it has plenty of nations on which to focus before it gets to Armenia, which I listed the other day. The Irish genocide not only preceded the Armenian, it had more direct impact on America. And that's the problem with demanding these resolutions; it creates a demand for Congress to address every insult to ethnic groups. Our ancestors came here to get away from those concerns, not to indulge them.

Congress exists to protect American interests. Period. And Congress hasn't even done its own job this session; it should do that before venturing into academic investigations.

None of this, however, diminishes the real crimes committed against the Armenians. King's post gives us all a reminder of what that means to the descendants.


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Comments (39)

Posted by Steffan | October 17, 2007 8:37 PM

I sincerely doubt the average Turk on the street knows the name of the last Caliph. Or his immediate predecessor, his older brother. Or what side of WWI the Ottomans fought on, or even that Mustafa Kemal Pasha (later Ataturk) was the winning general at Gallipoli.

One of the things that torqued the Armenians at the time was that a lot of the Young Turks who were responsible for the genocide ended up in Ataturk's new government, and none of them were ever punished for it. AFAICT, Mehmet VI's apology was the only mention that was ever made by the Ottoman government.

Posted by unclesmrgol | October 17, 2007 8:41 PM

The Armenian Genocide is just one of the three perpetrated by the Young Turks. The others are the Assyrian Genocide (targeting Assyrian Christians) and the Pontic Genocide (targeting Greek Orthodox). In all cases, the targets were Christians.

As I pointed out in a previous post here, the Young Turks (of which Kemal Attaturk, the Father of modern Turkey, was one member) were operating out of a mindset which said that, if Turkey was to become modern, its society must be uniform -- one language, one religion, western dress.

Comparing maps of the ethnic makeup of Turkey under the Ottomans and of Turkey after the Genocides is instructive.

It is interesting that Turkey was one of the first countries to conclude a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union (partitioning Armenia into Turkish and Soviet territories). This predates by about 20 years the treaty of friendship between Germany and the Soviet Union, and the resultant partitioning of Poland.

Posted by bayam | October 17, 2007 8:49 PM

If Congress is going to pass a resolution condemning every act of ethnic abuse, why stop with nation states? Why not address other abuses, such as cat juggling? There's no limit to the number of causes that Congress can address through the resolution process.

Posted by Captain Ed | October 17, 2007 8:52 PM

Cat juggling?? You go too far, sir.

If you said dog juggling, I'd really have to hurt you.

Posted by Emerson Twain | October 17, 2007 8:58 PM

Well spoken. Difficult but true. And Congress? Are they now to be just another pathetic international court?

Posted by glasnost | October 17, 2007 9:02 PM

I was impressed by this post, Ed.

The logical conclusion is that the genocide resolution is right on the merits. Congress passes resolutions like this all the time. If it was a resolution condemning an Iranian human rights abuse, you'd applaud. Even if it was 50 years old, you'd applaud.

Posted by Bennett | October 17, 2007 9:04 PM

I will never understand this need to impose guilt on the descendants of those who committed a great crime.

It's as if the stigma of the past must always be applied anew to every generation, as if collective guilt assessed against those who did nothing will mean something to those who themselves have never been harmed.

Perhaps this is slightly off topic, but I had this conversation today with a person in my office, a young woman born here but whose father emigrated to the US from the Middle East back in the 70s.

She asked me why Americans never seem intimidated by anyone or anything, where does our confidence come from. Well, of course it's probably not true that we are never not intimidated, but after thinking about it awhile, I told her, it's because of the way we think. We are all equal here, it doesn't matter who your family is or what they did, when your ancestors got here, or why they came, the only thing that matters in this country is YOU, who you are, who you want to be, and how you choose to live your life. And we are all equal. No one is better than anyone else. So we look out at the world and we see possibilities and we believe that as long as there are possibilities, there is opportunity as long as you are willing to try.

I think I might have added that we also try very hard not to be held hostage by the past. America is about the present and the future. We learn from the past, our past mistakes but we don't dwell on them, we don't keep reliving them. Or at least that is how it used to be.

I am really not interested in our Congress being held hostage by this obsession with the past, a past that is not ours, a past that has nothing to do with us.

Posted by tomjproudamerican | October 17, 2007 9:08 PM

Great Post!

We need two standards, one for us and one for the people who are not 100% behind us. Compared to the terrorist attacks of September, 2001, anyone else has had it easy.

Put another way: There is Good Genocide, when our allies have engaged in it; and Bad Genocide, when done by people we want to oppose.

We can tell the Armenians we feel their pain in private.

As long s they back us, who cares what Turkey does or thinks or how their history books are written.

Posted by Warner Todd Huston | October 17, 2007 9:11 PM

I agree 100% that Congress' job is not to be passing resolutions about the genocides in other nations. It is a waste of our time and money to be bothering with such nonsense.

Our Congress is too much the busy body anymore.

Now, if they could pass a resolution against the many generations of the arrogance of French waiters. Now THAT would be a resolution worth pursuing!

....or they could stick to AMERICAN business, instead!

Posted by The Mechanical Eye | October 17, 2007 9:18 PM

So congress is calling a spade a spade -- calling the planned slaughter of an ethnic group a genocide -- and many neo-conservatives, with their World War II references always at the ready, condemn Congress for even mentioning the word.

This is odd, since "Double Gitmo" Romney mentioned something about indicting the president of Iran under the Genocide Convention:


I don't remember too much anger over Romney's show-boating back then.

Where are those of you who wanted to invade Iraq to avenge the Marsh Arabs, or to punish Saddam for gassing Kurdish villages in the 1980s? What selective use of past atrocities!

Instead, I see a reflexive need to defend Turkey from the evils of Nancy Pelosi -- the same Turkey Bush alienated through the Iraq war!

Incidentally, the main cause of anti-American sentiment in Turkey is through the actions of everyone's favorite Iraqi minority, the Kurds:


I'm not thrilled about Congress' timing. But this isn't because the "dhimmicrats" are treasonous -- its because this administration's done a poor job of keeping our allies happy over the past five years. Turkish anger over symbolic resolutions merely reveals this discontent.


Posted by jaeger51 | October 17, 2007 9:27 PM

It's not the business of the Congress of the United States to perform actions that hurt the interests of the United States. Obviously, it's not in our interests right now to provoke Turkey. And passing a resolution is not going to do anything for the Armenians of 80 years ago. But the Democrats in the Congress are beginning to suffer from the same malady as the so-called American journalists: they see themselves as world citizens first and will go out of their way to prove that by standing against the interests of their own country and siding with the opposition. Especially infuriating when you consider that the congresspeople and journalists have positions of luxury and wealth BECAUSE they are Americans. That's giving them the benefit of the doubt that it is simply not another attempt to hurt Bush at whatever cost to the country necessary for cheap political gain. What does it take to be charged for treason these days? And how did we end up with a country where its' own privileged elite doesn't feel attached and loyal to it?

Posted by Dan Collins | October 17, 2007 9:29 PM

Armenian genocide? I'm agin it.

Posted by SteveIL | October 17, 2007 9:43 PM

Great post.

One of the things that bothers me about Pelosi's insistence on bringing this resolution to a vote is the fact that it ignores a problem Turkey created over 30 years ago when it illegally invaded, occupied, and annexed 1/3 of the independent island nation of Cyprus, based on a trumped up justification. Turkey still occupies that same part of the island, as a part of Turkey, much to the consternation of the independent Greek-speaking part of the island nation, as well as Greeks all over the world. Yet, Greece and Turkey remain allies (they at least don't go out killing each other) with each other and with the U.S., and both are still a part of NATO. If the faux concern Pelosi is trying to show in pointing out the past sins of Turkey, why isn't the Cyprus transgression a part of the resolution? Answer: this is an attempt to embarrass the President on Iraq and avoid taking any blame for getting troops pulled out. She's a phony. And she and the Democrats are the issue. Not Turkey or the Armenians.

Posted by kingronjo | October 17, 2007 10:52 PM

this has nothing to do with Turkey, or Armenians or genocide. One theory is it has to do with protecting a vulnerable Dem Congressman in the most heavily Armenian district in the country.

Another, more sinister but definitely Pelosian, is that it will stop the vital assistance that the Turks are playing in allowing use of their bases for resupplying the troops in Iraq. Can't blame the Dems when the Marines run out of bullets or food or supplies to help with projects in Iraq. Its that d**N cowboy Bush and his lousy diplomacy afterall.

As the Cap rightly pointed out genocide has occurred all over the world by different people at different times. The tsars, the Huns, the Chinese, the Australians, the Arabs, etc, some deliberate, some not but with the same effect. Perhaps Queen Nancy can hire a historian, catalogue all the massacres in history, and, assuming she is still alive when that is finally over, she can call a vote and condemn all of them en masse. Piss off everyone at the same time.

I see the typical lib BS in some above posts. Maybe we should encourage every nation on the planet to condemn every wrong that every nation has done at one time or the other. We can be condemned by Libya for the Indian wars and Myanmar can of course condemn our slavery or maybe Venezuela can point out or faults for winning the Mexican war.

And more fun! Lets have the Marshall Islands condemn Italy for the Roman massacres (pick one) and Haiti condemn Italy for the Roman massacres (pick another!) and Lesotho condemn France for some Frankish barbarian massacres....

Oops, I'm not getting the rules right. The liberal Dems can pass a resolution condemning the US for existing. We can only condemn the US or its allies, right "proudamerican"?

O, and glastnost, an abuse by Iran 50 years ago would be a "Good Massacre" or "Good Humans Rights Abuse" according to proudamerican. 50 years ago the Shah was on our side. No charge for the history lesson.

Posted by BB | October 17, 2007 11:46 PM

I thought the UN was the only way Libs wanted us to deal with the world? Why not the UN Human Rights Council (or latest iteration thereof)? If, of course, they can lay off trying to pass their gazillionth resolution against Israel...

Posted by John Adams | October 17, 2007 11:53 PM

A Bill of Attainder is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime. The United States Constitution forbids both the Federal and State governments to enact Bills of Attainder, in Article 1, Sections 9 and 10, respectively. Any Act of Congress declaring the people of Turkey to be historically guilty of genocide, without an officially recognized trial, is a complete betrayal of our Constitution. Of course, the scumbag Democrat Party is used to such betrayals!

Posted by John Adams | October 18, 2007 12:28 AM

Indeed! In late 1944 the British Government proposed that the principal Nazi’s, and members of organizations such as the SS, simply be declared as criminals through the passage of a Bill of Attainder in Parliament. To their credit, Washington flatly refused to support such an action and insisted that there must be proof through international war crimes trials. Thus, of course, the Nuremberg Trials took place.

Posted by fouse, gary c | October 18, 2007 12:29 AM

The Armenian Genocide Resolution-What Are They Thinking?

This Armenian Genocide Resolution that is going through Congress has yet to fully play out, but it sure does demonstrate why Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts in the Democratic Party have absolutely no clue. This resolution, with all due respect to Armenians, has already had a disastrous effect on out relationship with Turkey.

This resolution condemns Turkey for having committed genocide against Armenians in that country in 1915, during World War 1, when an estimated 1.5 million Armenians (suspected as a people of being against the regime) were rounded up, relocated and killed by Turkish troops. A couple of points should be kept in mind:

First, the Turkish Government disputes the actual details of what happened and the numbers killed. Thus, the present-day Turkish Government has, over the years, refused to acknowledge what happened as a deliberate genocide, rather that Armenians died under a variety of circumstances. What is the actual truth? I don't know. There are accounts from the era by outside observers who were present in Turkey in 1915 that confirm that massacres did in fact take place.

It should also be remembered that in 1915, it was a different country-to be exact, we are talking about the former Ottoman Empire, under a regime known as the "Young Turks". Subsequent to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey came under the rule of Kemal Mustafa Ataturk, who instituted numerous reforms and secularized the nation. Today, Turkey is considered a democratic, moderate and secular nation with a majority Muslim population. Though far from perfect, it is considered a modal Islamic country which we hope others would emulate.

More importantly, Turkey has for decades, been a solid NATO ally to the US, one we don't want to lose, especially in these times. Yet, what has been the reaction to this resolution, which is symbolic in nature? Well, for one, the Turkish Ambassador to the US has been recalled. The Turkish Parliament in the last 24 hours has authorized its military to enter northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels who threaten Turkey. Of course, that is the last thing that we need in Iraq, where we already have a host of problems. Now our US military base at Incirlik is in danger of being closed as well as the use of Turkish territory for any US military moves. This puts the lives of US soldiers at added peril. Of course, it goes without saying that public opinion among Turks (who have historically been pro-American), has taken a nose-dive. The fact is that the controversy over the Armenian genocide is a touchy subject for Turkey.

As I said above, I mean no disrespect to Armenians, both in the US and abroad, for whom this matter is an emotional issue, one they hope to keep alive around the world until Turkey acknowledges its culpability. There is a sizable Armenian population in the US, which obviously was a consideration in Congress. If Turkey did, in fact, carry out a planned genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915, then they should own up to it and educate their younger generations about it-so as not to see it repeated. That is the course of action that the US has taken in regards to slavery and Germany has taken in regards to the Nazi era. If Turkey has refused to acknowledge the past, they are not the only ones guilty of that. Japan has never fully acknowledged their horrific crimes during the first half of the 20th century, when they occupied countries in Asia like Korea, China and the Philippines. Consequently, the younger generations of Japanese are not really aware of their history. Similarly, many Lithuanians who emigrated to escape Soviet Communism during World War 2, have refused to acknowledge the role many Lithuanian partisans played in massacring Jews when the Germans occupied their country. (Many Lithuanians were killing Jews even before the Germans began in their own systematic fashion. Jews were perceived, rightfully or wrongfully, as being Soviet sympathizers.)

So why have Pelosi and her colleagues come up with this resolution at this time? Some have accused them of deliberately attempting to sabotage our war effort in neighboring Iraq. Whether or not that is true, the results have been catastrophic-so bad, that now, several members of Congress, seeing the damage, are backing away from the resolution.

The hard fact is that this action has placed our entire relationship with a key ally in danger-a foreign policy disaster of the first order. Now, Bush, Secretary of State Rice and the State Department have to drop everything else and scramble around trying to clean up this mess and save our relationship with Turkey. Even if the resolution dies, severe damage has been done, which may not soon be repaired.

There may yet come a time when quiet diplomacy can achieve an agreeable resolution of what happened almost 100 years ago that will serve the cause of morality. Right now, however, is the time for geopolitical considerations to carry the day.

As for Nancy Pelosi, she has forfeited any credibility when she criticizes the foreign policy ineneptness of the Bush Administration. She is a joke, but she is not funny.

gary fouse

Posted by RBMN | October 18, 2007 12:32 AM

Some eyewitnesses to Japan's wartime civilian massacres in China, Korea, or the Philippines, are still alive to benefit from the US Congress' recent keen interest in violent historical injustices around the globe.

But alas, Japan isn't critical to America’s success in Iraq, like Turkey is.

Posted by Steffan | October 18, 2007 12:37 AM

Actually, the Turks are accustomed to political posing like this. After their invasion of Cyprus in 1975, and the subsequent Congressional sanctions, they shut down the utilities for the American base in Sinop (which is visible on Google Earth). They killed the heat to the place that winter, and killed the water to the place the following summer. A friend of mine earned the MSM for being there throughout that ordeal.

TUSLOG Det 4, Sinop, Turkey. The buildings of the American base are very visible on Google Earth -- the HoJo orange roofs are the main operations building.

Posted by Tom W. | October 18, 2007 1:34 AM

Why are the most childish comments always posted by liberals?

Posted by Dan Kauffman | October 18, 2007 1:43 AM

The Armenians are dead, those that murdered them are dead.

If Pelosi wants to have a resolution about genocide? Why not one against PRESENT DAY regimes that are so engaged,

Like the People's Republic of China?

Posted by Reddog | October 18, 2007 2:42 AM

What you say is true, Ed.

It is also true that if the U.S. ceased it's aid and support of the Zionist state of Israel and took a strictly neutral stand on it's relations with it's neighbors, most if not all of our troubles with the Islamic World would immediately cease.

So why is it in our national interest to continue to pump hundreds of billions of dollars in aid into Israel? If we're going to pump something, let's pump Arab oil. If we don't care about a few million Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks that got cleansed, why worry about a few million Jews? It really isn't in the American interest.

That's what the Democrats are really saying. They couldn't care less about who or how many the Turks killed, just like they don't really care about how many Iraqis are killed.

Posted by docjim505 | October 18, 2007 4:00 AM

Tom W.: Why are the most childish comments always posted by liberals?

Say it again, brother, say it again!

Posted by docjim505 | October 18, 2007 6:18 AM

I occasionally find it interesting to review liberal comments on this site, much in the same way (I suppose) as a psychologist finds it interesting to review the ramblings of paranoids, schizos, and other inmates of a mental hospital.

glasnost: If it was a resolution condemning an Iranian human rights abuse, you'd applaud. Even if it was 50 years old, you'd applaud.

Hypotheticals are always so much fun! When faced with a complete lack of anything worthwhile to say, one can always create a strawman and kick the s*** out of it. So, in the same spirit, let me provide a hypothetical of my own:

Oh yeah? OH YEAH? Well, if the Congress had passed a declaration of war against Turkey to get even with them for their genocide against the Armenians (among others), YOU'D be applauding! And my big brother can beat up your big brother!

Anyway, I'm not interested in finding something in Iran's history to condemn. I'm interested in getting them to stop their nuke program and cease meddling in Iraq. Need I say that my methods would be a bit more... um... DIRECT than a Congressional resolution saying how much we deplore them?

tomjproudamerican: We need two standards, one for us and one for the people who are not 100% behind us. Compared to the terrorist attacks of September, 2001, anyone else has had it easy.

Oh, the ol' moral equivalency argument. Since we don't treat (i.e. insult) our allies the same way we do our enemies, we're being hypocrites. What's next? A resolution that we threaten to bomb and invade Pakistan because we bombed and invaded Iraq? Oh, wait... The dems HAVE suggested such a thing.

Well, I guess we can't claim that they are hypocrites. Morons, certainly, but NOT hypocrites.

Reddog: So why is it in our national interest to continue to pump hundreds of billions of dollars in aid into Israel? If we're going to pump something, let's pump Arab oil. If we don't care about a few million Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks that got cleansed, why worry about a few million Jews? It really isn't in the American interest.

That's what the Democrats are really saying. They couldn't care less about who or how many the Turks killed, just like they don't really care about how many Iraqis are killed.

What is it with libs and their hatred of Israel? I mean, really: how did Israel lurch into this topic?

Wait... Are you actually dave playing sockpuppet? Because that really looks like something he'd write.

But I digress.

What you seem to be saying is:

1. We should abandon one of our allies, Israel, for our own selfish interests. After all, the Muslim world will absolutely love us if we throw Israel under the bus, and all will be right with the world.

2. The dems ACTUALLY wrote this resolution to criticize our policy toward Israel, but named Turkey because... um... because... Well, why the hell DID they write a resolution condemning Turkey if they were REALLY condemning our support for Israel? I'm confused. Actually, I think you are confused. Or just an anti-Semite. Maybe both.

These are from another, related thread, but I thought I'd include them here:

The Mechanical Eye: Victory in the War on Terror and the Democracy Agenda, as far as I can tell from the rarefied, intelligent words of a blog comments section, requires that the United States back away from acknowledging a genocide to placate an ally with a militaristic government - a government that's barely cooperating with us in Iraq and whose population is increasingly anti-American due to the enlightened diplomacy of George W. Bush? (1)

This represents some of the most twisted logic I've ever seen. It is classic liberalthink:

1. We conservatives are evil because we don't want to talk about something bad that happened 90 years ago despite the facts that (a) the government that did it no longer exists and (b) talking about it causes bad relations with that country's present government at a critical moment in history;

2. Turkey has a militaristic government that we should criticize anyway, and;

3. It's All George Bush's Fault!(TM)

TyCaptains: Maybe, just maybe they're [the Congress] attempting to fulfill Bush's promise to that community? [Bush made a campaign pledge in 2000 the he would "ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic suffering of the Armenian people."] (2)

1. Bush, despite being the stupidest man on the face of the earth (or so liberals tell us, when they're not assuring us that he's the eeeevil genius behind 9-11 who then tricked the Congress into authorizing war with Iraq), apparently understands something that the Congress does not: TIMING IS EVERYTHING. I would also like to note, as I have before, that Bush is routinely criticized for "cowboy diplomacy" and "alienating our allies", but I can't recall him doing anything so boneheaded as to cause one of our allies to recall their ambassador.

2. If the Congress is really hot-to-trot to help Bush fulfill his campaign promises, maybe they can revisit Social Security reform.

Or not.

And a final note: for all you libs who think that this resolution is just a HELLUVA idea, why stop there? Why not embargo Turkey? Or get a UN resolution condemning them? (This will be hard to squeeze in between all the resolutions condemning Israel, but I'm sure it could be done) Why don't we cut off their foreign aid, or even go to war with them? After all, we did it to Germany, Japan and Iraq. Why don't you put your money where your mouths are?


(1) http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/014977.php at October 17, 2007 6:16 PM

(2) Ibid., at October 17, 2007 6:49 PM

Posted by PersonFromPorlock | October 18, 2007 6:30 AM

One reason for America's stability is that we let the dead bury the dead; dwelling on past injustices only gets you Northern Ireland or the Middle East.

So yes, the Turks of the time butchered the Armenians of the time and it was an evil act. Next!

Posted by MarkD | October 18, 2007 7:22 AM

How about a resolution condemning everything bad that ever happened to anyone, anywhere? Then Congress could possibly work on that 11% approval rating before it hits single digits.

I note a previous poster wants to take on Japan. The Imperial Japanese Army, and Government are no more, but have at it. I was willing to stop with the destruction of their cities and occupation of their country, but some people want a do-over.

Posted by harleycon5 | October 18, 2007 7:30 AM

Captain, the motivations by the Democrats on the whole Turkish/Armenian genocide issue should be crystal clear considering the upcoming elections.

The Democrats now know that they cannot force surrender via defunding our military effort in Iraq, since they have already said they "Support the troops", and this would surely tip their hand.

However, there is more than one way to "skin a cat" if you will, and we are seeing two major attacks on Iraq via alternate methods:

1. The attack on private military contractors such as Blackwater via legal prosecution. You can call this "The Murtha method". If you prosecute all of these firms they will be forced to leave Iraq, and our troops security will not be better for it. The Dems know it, too.

2. Stir up the Turkey issue between Iraqi Kurds and Turkey. Turkey has been biting their tongues and holding back from incursions into Northern Iraq to deal with Kurdish terrorists. By pulling this "Genocide label" tactic, the Dems know that they will strain relations with the US enough to get a positive vote to go into Iraq if needed, which has already happened.

Side Benefits to the Dems:

a) Turkey could also decide to disallow the shipping of US military supplies, which happen through that country. Of course this would be a very difficult obstacle for our military to overcome.

b) Turkish/Kurdish conflict raises Oil prices to the glee of Democrats who will blame this on GWB. The media will not clarify this, nor will President Bush.

As you can see, the Democrats have not given up on their plan to eject our forces from Iraq, they are just taking a secondary route.

Posted by coldwarrior415 | October 18, 2007 8:06 AM

An interesting letter appearing today in the Turkish press:


The Turkish Daily News has been around for nearly 50 years, the oldest English language paper in Turkey. The letter, which I recognize is just one letter, does three things -- it offers that there is a free press in Turkey; it offers an insight into how many Turks view the Armenian issue; it provides context, something that almost all of the MSM lacks. The Turkish Daily News is not a mouthpiece for the Turkish government, it has locked horns routinely with the Ankara government on many many issues over the years.

But most importantly, this letter validates the issue of the danger of the US throwing the Armenian massacre into the laps of present-day Turks being counter-productive in a large way.

Posted by JC | October 18, 2007 8:15 AM

"Congress exists to protect American interests. Period." And condemning genocide is not in America's interest?

Posted by I R A Darth Aggie | October 18, 2007 9:20 AM

We can tell the Armenians we feel their pain in private.

So, tomjproudamerican, what do you say to the Rwandans, who suffered not only in our lifetime, but under the watchful eye of Clinton, Clinton, Gore and Albright, as well as the ever watchful eye of Kofi Annan prior to ascension to the head of the UN?

Perhaps Congress would also like to address the Sack of Baghdad under the tender mercies of Hulagu Khan (Ghengis' grandson)?

Posted by Bennett | October 18, 2007 10:13 AM

"And condemning genocide is not in America's interest?"

No it isn't. Atually stopping genocide, that might be in our interest somewhere in the world. But condemning 90 years after the fact? No.

Posted by dave | October 18, 2007 10:18 AM

"And that's the problem with demanding these resolutions; it creates a demand for Congress to address every insult to ethnic groups. Our ancestors came here to get away from those concerns, not to indulge them." -Captain

Besides, we are too busy with other genocide resolutions, such as these just from the last 2 Congresses:

[110th] Simon Wiesenthal Holocaust Education Assistance Act (Introduced in Senate)[S.963.IS ]
[110th] Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)[H.R.1746.IH ]
[110th] Urging all member countries of the International Commission of the International Tracing Service who have yet to ratify the May 2006 amendments to the 1955 Bonn Accords to expedite the ratification process to allow for open access to the Holocaust archives located at Bad Arolsen, Germany.
[110th] Whereas April 15, 2007, marks the international observance of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, a day to remember and mourn the millions who died during the Holocaust of World War... (Introduced in Senate)[S.RES.142.IS ]
[109th] Comprehensive Holocaust Accountability in Insurance Measure (Introduced in House)[H.R.743.IH ]
[110th] Permitting the use of the rotunda of the Capitol for a ceremony as part of the commemoration of the days of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust. (Introduced in House)[H.CON.RES.66.IH ]
[109th] Expressing the sense of the Senate in marking the dedication on March 15, 2005, of the expanded museum complex at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority... (Agreed to by Senate)[S.RES.79.ATS ]
[109th] Condemning in the strongest terms Iran's commitment to hold an international Holocaust denial conference on December 11-12, 2006. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.1091.IH ]
[109th] Expressing the sense of the Senate in commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day. (Agreed to by Senate)[S.RES.445.ATS ]
[110th] Paying tribute to Reverend Waitstill Sharp and Martha Sharp for their recognition by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority as Righteous Among the Nations for their heroic efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust .[H.RES.52.IH ]
[109th] Designating the week of May 1, 2005, as `Holocaust Commemoration Week'. (Agreed to by Senate)[S.RES.90.ATS ]
[109th] Commending the people of Albania on the 61st anniversary of the liberation of the Jews from the Nazi death camps, for protecting and saving the lives of all Jews who lived in Albania,... (Introduced in Senate)[S.RES.521.IS ]
[110th] To recognize John Pehle for his contributions to the Nation in helping rescue Jews and other minorities from the Holocaust during World War II. (Introduced in House)[H.RES.226.IH ]
[109th] Whereas on January 27, 1945, the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, including Birkenau and other related camps near the Polish city of Oswiecim, was liberated by elements of the... (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)[H.RES.39.EH ]

Posted by coldwarrior415 | October 18, 2007 11:03 AM

And none of those resolutions in any way threatened our relationships with any nation or ally.

Posted by dave | October 18, 2007 11:11 AM

God forbid we should ever act based on morality. The rest of the world would think we've lost our mind.

Our relationship with Israel has damaged our relationship with every nation on earth, except for Israel. It has its effects.

Posted by dave | October 18, 2007 11:53 AM

If "Congress exists to protect American interests. Period", and does not make any moral statements, then why do we continually make statements about the Holocaust that are loaded with moral statements? Doesn't it ring hollow, since everyone knows we are not doing it out of a sense of morality, but merely to suck up to an ally, because it is supposedly "in our interests". Why bother?

Posted by docjim505 | October 18, 2007 2:40 PM

And, as surely as night follows day, dave starts ranting about Israel again...

Posted by Neo | October 19, 2007 9:04 AM

The turnaround is the first major failure for Pelosi, who has successfully muscled through the agenda she set out when she became leader of the Democratic majority in January.

This first has begot this legacy ..

Krauthammer's razor (with apologies to Occam): In explaining any puzzling Washington phenomenon, always choose stupidity over conspiracy, incompetence over cunning. Anything else gives them too much credit.

Posted by coldwarrior415 | October 19, 2007 9:18 AM

Bloomberg this morning has an interesting article on Pelosi and the Resolution:


Seems she can't even get Murtha on board. I'll, give the ex-Marine credit, he at least saw the effects long before this resolution even got out of Committee.

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