Oct. 10th, 2007

davehogg: (Default)
One of the reasons the Bush Administration didn't want Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Ground Zero was that he publicly claims the Holocaust didn't happen.

Which, of course, explains why the Bush Administration is now trying to sweep another genocide under the rug.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is going to hold a hearing today on H. Res 106, which deals with the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks between 1915-1923.

The massacre itself isn't in question - it has been recognized by presidents from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush.

On this day, we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as 1,500,000 Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire.
- President George W. Bush, Apr. 24, 2004.

The American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire referred to what was happening as "a campaign of race extermination" as early as 1915. The Nuremberg War Tribunal used it as an example of "crimes against humanity" in their indictment of Nazi war criminals.

So what is the problem?

Turkey is offended that H. Res 106 calls on the President to recognize that what happened was, indeed, genocide. The House isn't asking President Bush to do something new - the U.N. has called it the Armenian Genocide since 1946 (the word didn't exist before the 1940s), and both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton called it "genocide" as well.

genocide: The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.
- American Heritage Dictionary

But President Bush says that the resolution would "do great harm" to our relationship with Turkey. Secretary of State Rice agreed:

We recognize the feelings of those who want to express their concern and their disdain for what happened many years ago. But the passage of this resolution at this time would, indeed, be very problematic for everything that we're trying to do in the Middle East because we are very dependent on a good Turkish strategic ally to help with our efforts.
- Rice, 10/10/2007

What is really happening is that Turkey is threatening to invade Kurdish Iraq - the government has asked Parliament for permission for a "large-scale incursion" - and the Bush Administration desperately wants to stop them. That makes them more willing to listen to the threats issued by members of the Turkish government about the Armenian Genocide resolution.

This says a lot of about the "Coalition of the Willing". One of our "key allies" is about to go renegade, and the Bush Administration is willing to throw history out the window in an attempt to stop them.

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