Thu
Oct 11 2007
03:44 pm

What is genocide? Well, it's, um, not something our allies do. Or ever have done.

"We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the Armenian people that began in 1915," Bush said in a brief statement. "But this resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings and its passage would do great harm to relations with a key ally in NATO, and to the war on terror."

"Yes, historic mass killings, tragic suffering. Yadda yadda. But it's not genocide."

Um, whoops?

Turkey has recalled its ambassador to the United States in response to a House resolution that would call the World War I massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces genocide, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed the measure 27-21 Wednesday, even though President Bush and key administration figures lobbied hard against it. The full House is expected to vote on it, possibly Friday.

I'm curious - has anyone heard a harsh word from Mr. President "Democracy Is On The March for the Proud Peoples of the Middle East" Bush about how his Turkish allies have been bombing the hell out of Kurdish Iraq for the last week?

And that they're now threatening to invade?

Turkish warplanes and helicopter gunships attacked suspected positions of Kurdish rebels near Iraq on Wednesday, a possible prelude to a cross-border operation that would be likely to raise tensions with Washington.

The military offensive also reportedly included shelling of suspected Turkish Kurd guerrilla hide-outs in northern Iraq, which is predominantly Kurdish. U.S. officials are preoccupied with efforts to stabilize other areas of Iraq and oppose Turkish intervention in the relatively peaceful north. The White House issued a warning Wednesday against such an incursion "at this time."

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that a motion authorizing a cross-border operation was being prepared and might reach parliament today. An opposition nationalist party said it would support the motion.

If parliament approves, the military could launch an operation immediately or wait to see if the United States and its allies decide to crack down on the rebels, who have been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's southeast since 1984 in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Get used to hearing this phrase: "expanded regional conflict." But remember, the surge is working.

W: Putting the "Dip" into Diplomacy since 2001.

Bonus question: Where's Condi?

Mykhailo's picture

The Enduring Relevance of

The Enduring Relevance of the Armenian Genocide
What's the relevance?

I care about what Turkey's doing now. 90 years ago? Not so much. Bunches of my family were slaughtered around then, too. I don't care that no one's apologized for that, either.

Andy Axel's picture

What's the

What's the relevance?

Turkey's using it as leverage to bully the US into looking the other way as Kurdistan is bombarded. Nice, huh?

____________________________

"Respect mah authoritah!" - Fred Cartman Thompson

Mykhailo's picture

Turkey's using it as

Turkey's using it as leverage to bully the US into looking the other way as Kurdistan is bombarded. Nice, huh?

To the extent that we are losing leverage with the Turks because of this issue, the blame lies with Diane Feinstein Adam Schiff and the Democratic Congress, not the Bush Administration.

Bonus question: Where's Condi?

Along with Gates, trying to talk sense into Congress' head. Yay Condi.

[edit: Adam Schiff, not Diane Feinstein. I'm not following the latest in Armenian Genocide news all that closely]

bizgrrl's picture

To some extent, didn't we

To some extent, didn't we bomb Iraq because of what Saddam did 10 years ago?

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Forgot one little clause

"To some extent, didn't we bomb Iraq because of what Saddam did 10 years ago?"

Just add to the end of that, "with our blessings."

Of course, it's hard to condemn Turkey for committing genocide in the past when we need them now to help us continue our genocide against the people of Iraq. We've probably killed about a million Iraqis so far, and we've forced a couple million more to flee their homes, many into other countries. And we're not about to stop. We are the present-day genociders.

Hammersmith's picture

I fear that...

attention to the so-called Armenian Holocaust may detract from the Jewish Holocaust, the most important event in history. The deaths of 1.5 million Armenians is insignificant compared to the deaths of 6.0 million Jews.

Carole Borges's picture

Insignificant maybe to you, but...

The loss the Armenians suffered and the pain of having their fellow Armenians wiped off the map forever should never be called "insignificant".

It's not just a numbers game. The death of so many Jews was a blow to all of Creation. No term can ever capture the suffering of so many beautifuil innocent people that gave us so much in the way of intellect and passion and art. I still feel though that an overzealous expression of ownership of the word "genocide" diminishes the great pain the Aremenians suffered and also other genocide victims previous to that. It makes the Jews seem unsymapthetic to other peoples' suffering, and I know that is not the case. Protecting the word genocide to make it only relate to WWII seesm like the copyrighting of a brand. That's too businesslike for my taste.

Personally I have always been horrified that in our day and age we stood by and let the Rwanda atrocites happen. The cutting off of childrens' arms and lips so they couldn't pray made me literally sick.

For those who might wonder what all the controversy is about, here is what Wikipedia has to say about the definition of genocide

"Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, religious or national group. While precise definition varies among genocide scholars, the legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of the CPPCG defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and/or] Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
(link...)

As for the word "holocaust", Wikipedia says: (link...)

calloway's picture

The loss the Armenians

The loss the Armenians suffered and the pain of having their fellow Armenians wiped off the map forever should never be called "insignificant".

An intellectually honest person could not do anything but shake their head over this sordid affair. Actual, real, and current genocide going on in various countries and the dopes on the left reach into the early 1900s to psuedo-bash someone helping out in a war they currently disapprove of.

Are we going to condemn the Brits for past injustices ? God help the folks living in Rome. They'd be buried in resolutions overnight.

Elrod's picture

Not from the left

This measure is not being pushed by the "left" or even from the Democratic Party. It's been pushed for years by Californians of both political parties at the behest of the state's large Armenian-American population, a majority of whom are Republican (remember George Deukmejian?) Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi have supported this measure since it was first introduced by that rabid left-winger Bob Dole in the 1990s.

I don't know whether or not it makes sense to pass this resolution at this point. As a Jew, I feel a special responsibility to recognize other genocides and the Armenian genocide was one of the worst in the 20th century. It seems Turkey is desperate to invade Iraq to go after the PKK rebels hiding out in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Armenian issue might give enough cover to the Turkish leadership to carry an invasion out.

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