Thursday, March 04, 2010

House Panel Defies Obama, Calls Turkey's Murder of Armenians 'Genocide'

There is some good news coming out of Washington tonight:

The House Foreign Affairs Committee voted narrowly on Thursday to condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians early in the last century, defying a last-minute plea from the Obama administration to forgo a vote that seemed sure to offend Turkey {...}

The vote on the nonbinding resolution, a perennial point of friction addressing a dark, century-old chapter of Turkish history, was 23 to 22. A similar resolution passed by a slightly wider margin in 2007, but the Bush administration, fearful of losing Turkish cooperation over Iraq, lobbied forcefully to keep it from reaching the House floor. Whether this resolution will reach a floor vote remains unclear.

In Ankara, the capital, the office of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately issued a sharp rebuke. “We condemn this bill that denounces the Turkish nation of a crime that it has not committed,” the statement said. Ambassador Namik Tan, who had only weeks ago taken up his post in Washington, has been recalled to Ankara for consultations, according to the statement.

Ah wouldn't be Pravda-on-the-Hudson if they couldn't say 'Bush did it too!' somewhere. And in this case, they're right. It was simple poetic justice that after going to all that trouble to massage the Islamist AKP government in Turkey,they ended up dialing out and not cooperating in the least when it came to Iraq.

Believe it or not, the French had more courage on this issue than we did, taking a stand and calling this genocide four years ago.

What this is all about (and it embarrasses me, as an American that the vote was that close) is a recognition of the brutal murder of something on the order of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turkish government in 1915.

This was the first modern attempt at genocide, and estimates of the death toll range from 900,000 to 1.5 million people. It was planned and ordered at the highest levels of the Turkish government and was carried out by direct executions, by forced relocation into the desert gulags in the Syrian Desert, the Der Zor, where thousands more died of disease, starvation and thirst and by the enslavement of thousands of Armenian women and children who were never heard from again.

The Turks committed this act of barbarism as a means of enforcing dhimmi, second class status on the largest, most progressive and most cohesive non-Muslim group in the Ottoman Empire and removing them from being obstacles in Turkey's imperialist ambitions.

No less than Nobel prize winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish author was tried by his own government in 2006 for "insulting Turkishness" because he told a Swiss newspaper, "thirty-thousand Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in these lands, and nobody but me dares to talk about it." and wrote that Turkey should acknowledge its part in the Armenian genocide.

Hitler himself recognized what happened to the Armenians as a precedent. At the Wannasee Conference where the mechanics of the Final Solution were hammered out, one of his aides questioned whether the West would allow the Holocaust he had planned against Europe's Jews. Hitler's response? "Who remembers the Armenians nowadays?"

Hitler's tactics were strikingly similar, if more efficient and on a larger scale than the Turks...forced `relocations' to what in fact were death camps. The Jews too were told that that these were `temporary relocations' and to bring only what they could carry.

The Turks, however, went the Germans one better when it came to acknowledging genocide. The Germans had the courage to face what had happened and to take responsibility. To this day, the Turkish government denies that any of this happened, and there has been no real punishment reparations or even recognition for the genocide against the Armenian people.

Full disclosure...I have no particular, inbred hatred for Turks or their nation. But it is time to come clean.

One hopes the Obama Administration would at least have that much decency.

please helps me write more gooder!

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