October 16, 2007

"Why is Congress spending time trying to pass a resolution condemning the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago?"

Thomas Sowell asks. His answer: "It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of [the Iraq] war."

UPDATE: Retreat: "Almost a dozen lawmakers had shifted against the measure in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday night, accelerating a sudden exodus that has cast deep doubt over the measure’s prospects. "

100 comments:

dax said...

Anything, no matter how reckless, that the LibDems can do to undermine the war, they will do.
They have hitched their wagon to a total US defeat, and now they must make sure it happens.

Dando said...

The Democrat Congress has no conscience.

MadisonMan said...

I think a natural question is: When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents?

Pogo said...

Like the Nobel Peace Prize, it's a way to give the middle finger to Bush.

Petulant adolescents, all, they do not see the downstream effect, for it gives the middle finger to Turkey.

How is it that we will be "loved" by the world once more? Oh, right, because the NYTimes will declare it so.

AllenS said...

"When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents?"

Since this happened 1915 to 1917, maybe 2015 to 2017. An even hundred years. But then, GW Bushitler won't be president.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Pelosi does have a bunch of ethnic Armenians in here district ... so it's a two-fer.

LawGiver said...

Total idiotic crap. California passed a similar resolution and now Cali democrat and republican representatives are pushing a similar agenda in Congress. Why do they want to make it easier to kill Americans in the Middle East?

Too many jims said...

The massacre of Armnians. Bush was against it before he was for it.

Gahrie said...

It's simply about pandering and getting democrats re-elected.

Matthias said...

UPDATE: Democratic Congress to pass resolution condemning the massacre of Egyptian military forces by the Israeli God over 3500 years ago.

"The drowning of so many Egyptians conveys a deep disrespect for human life and the rich Muslim culture," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, apparently unaware that the birth of Islam dates to nearly 2000 years after the alleged incident.

In a similar statement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid noted that: "(w)hile Israel is currently beset on all sides by countries eager for the flimsiest excuse to nuke her back to the Stone Age, we felt that there was no time like the present to revive an issue from the aforementioned time period for the purposes of high minded moral outrage."

AJ Lynch said...

I just read each or your excellent comments and based on my many visits here, I will estimate the average IQ of an Althouse reader ranges from 130-140.

That is at least 20-25 points higher than our typical Congressman.

And Madison Man, apologies for an incident that goes back more than one or two generations are meaningless.

MadisonMan said...

apologies for an incident that goes back more than one or two generations are meaningless.

Meaningless to whom? I suspect there are plenty of survivors and relatives of the Armenian whatever you want to call it. Is it meaningless to them?

I'm not sure why such a condemnation didn't occur after WWI. (No one knew? The US was more isolationist?). It wasn't done during WWII or the cold war, I'm guessing, because the US was trying to woo Turkey away from the Nazi and Soviet spheres, respectively. There's always a good reason not to do something, apparently.

ricpic said...

Saroyan admitted to being permanently and incurably injured by the attempt to wipe out his ancestors. To the injured party an apology is not a cure, there is no cure...but it's something. And something is better than nothing. How about it, Turks?

hdhouse said...

children children...this is the third time this has come up..and 2 previous times it has passed the house with a republican majority...or did you forget that??? neo-cons? buellar? buellar?

you guys are such kneejerk putzs. now we can force bush to take a look at the iraq/turkey situation....or are you forgetting that turkey wants to invade northern iraq? did you forget that? putzs? neocons? buellar? hello?

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"I think a natural question is: When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents?"

And a Congressional resolution condemning the Chinese Leadership for the cultural revolution will be forthcoming when...?

peter hoh said...

It's not the job of Congress to establish facts, is it?

This sort of political action minimizes the very thing it attempts to legitimize, turning a historical fact into a political opinion.

Simon said...

hdhouse said...
"children children...this is the third time this has come up..and 2 previous times it has passed the house with a republican majority...or did you forget that???"

I didn't know that. On the assumption that it really happened (citations, please?), and happened in the last fifteen years, it was dumbass pandering. The instant resolution is dumbass pandering at best, or more likely, what Dax and others have said.

"now we can force bush to take a look at the iraq/turkey situation....or are you forgetting that turkey wants to invade northern iraq? "

We hadn't forgotten. And don't think that the Congresscritters pushing this bill have forgotten either.

Zeb Quinn said...

I think a natural question is: When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents?

The obvious natural answer is immediately. What you don't do is wait a hundred years and then do it for dishonest reasons with ulterior motives. Did that part of it go over your head?

Sloanasaurus said...

children children...this is the third time this has come up..and 2 previous times it has passed the house with a republican majority...or did you forget that??? neo-cons? buellar? buellar?

This is true. Except in 2000 when it passed through Committee, Clinton called up Speaker Hastert urging him to pull the bill because it would damage our relations with Turkey. Because Hastert is an adult and cares about our country, it was never brought up for a vote.

Things are different now. The Democrats in Congress are not adults and some of them care more about hating bush than the American people.

On another note, I noticed that Lucky's anti-war hero, Thomas Ricks, is now writing articles saying that Al Qaeda has been defeated. How things change...

Hoosier Daddy said...

you guys are such kneejerk putzs.

And you're a poopy-head doo doo bird.

Now run back to your lincoln logss and leave the discussion to adults.

rhhardin said...

Is the murder of innocents all that bad?

I mean, this is the history of the world we're talking about here.

Michael_H said...

So if it's okay to wait nearly a century to condemn genoicide, the suffering Christians in Darfur have only another 100 or so years to wait for the Dems to fly into resolution-passin' outrage.

Lame bastards.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I found this a particularly interesting excerpt from the resolution:

Despite the international recognition and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, the failure of
the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may
recur in the future, and that a just resolution will help prevent future genocides.


What a bunch of bullshit. Lord knows that Khartoum is simply shitting their pants at the thought of this resolution being passed and the janjaweed will be ready to lay down their arms. The Darfurians can then come back home knowing that the international community, the ones who were instrumental in stopping the slaughter in the Congo and Rwanda…

wait....

It would almost be comical if it wasn’t so damn tragic.

Doyle said...

You think there's still hope for the stab-in-the-back narrative, Ann? I think all but the craziest have given up.

Reliapundit said...

th timing is traitorous - typical of the current dems.

but the resolution is accurate and we shouldn't kowtow to the turks - after all they screwed us BIGTIME in 2003 when they denied our military the right to use turkey to attack saddam.

the current regime there is the worst since attaturk secularized them.

we should move our bases out of turkey and we should throw them out of nato and prevent their entry into the EU.

Windbag said...

Perhaps the Dems could warm up to this big event by condemning Turkey's invasion of Cyprus? That was only 33 years ago.

hdhouse said...

well simon is you "all know it" then factor that into it and write accordingly.

Trooper York said...

No Doyle, it's Willie Randolph who is preparing the stab in the back scenario with Tony Bernazard holding the shiv.

paul a'barge said...

MadisonMan:When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents.

+1

Careful here, fellow Conservatives. Tread carefully.

There are very few areas where the moral high ground belongs to Leftists. Standing against genocide is not one of them. Don't give them this one.

Turkey is guilty of genocide. No argument there. Turkey has resisted taking responsibility for genocide, historically. No argument there.

There is no better time than now to condemn genocide.

Pogo said...

"There is no better time than now to condemn genocide."

If frivolous and ineffectual statements against Past Events We Condemn were part of the constitutional duties of the US Congress, I'd agree.

On the other hand, if it occupies them long enough to forget to raise taxes again, so be it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Careful here, fellow Conservatives. Tread carefully.

For what? To pass a resolution condemning a nation that essentially no longer exists for events that happened nearly a century ago?

I have no love or ill toward the Turks but I do question the timing and source of this resolution. Why not throw in the old USSR and include the Ukranians or how about the Cambodians, Rwandans or the current genocide in Darfur or do we wait till everyone is dead first?

There is no better time than now to condemn genocide.

Actually keeping it from happening in the first place would be even better but that calls for actually doing something a bit more strenuous than a strongly worded resolution a century after the fact.

Admiral Tact said...

"When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents?"
How about:
1981 when Reagan recognized the Armenian Genocide in a speech about the Holocaust.
1984 when Congress set April 24 as a day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.

This issue has been addressed, albeit to a lesser extent, in the past when the consequences were less clear and present. Saying what amounts to "if not now, when?" is disingenuous at best at a time >100k US troops are in the direct path of those clear and present consequences. The answer is "when our troops are out of harms way of the consequences, or our generals indicate we are sufficiently prepared to handle what consequences may come without risk to our troops."

Trooper York said...

Rep Eliot Engle of the Bronx recently proposed a sense of the congress resolution that condemned the trade of Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps. It is never too late to seek redress for our grievances. A last a true travesty of justice has finally been recognized. No justice, no peace.

FP said...

"MadisonMan said...
I think a natural question is: When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents?"

I agree. The Senate should consider a resolution condemning Ted Kennedy for killing Mary Jo Kopechne. Such an action would be as relevant as the Turkey/Armenia resolution, but no negative repercussions for our troops.

rhhardin said...

There is in fact a bit in Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech, that doesn't seem to be noticed (it's taken as saying someday there will be no discrimination, and it's always noticed that we fall short, and that's a political move to make repeated every year), that has to do with something Levinas wrote in Totality and Infinity about a sort of forgetting that doesn't forget exactly :

Pardon in its immediate sense is connected with the moral phenomenon of fault. The paradox of pardon lies in its retroaction; from the point of view of common time it represents an inversion of the natural order of things, the reversibility of time. It involves several aspects. Pardon refers to the instant elapsed; it permits the subject who had committed himself in a past instant to be as though that instant had not past on, to be a though he had not committed himself. Active in a stronger sense than forgetting, which does not concern the reality of the event forgotten, pardon acts upon the past, somehow repeats the event, purifying it. But in addition, forgetting nullifies the relations
with the past, whereas pardon conserves the past pardoned in the purified present. The pardoned being is not the innocent being. The difference does not justify placing innocence above pardon; it permits the discerning in pardon of a surplus of happiness, the strange happiness of reconciliation, the *felix culpa*, given in an everyday experience which no longer astonishes us.


(Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity, p282-283)

You could apply it in a way when the original actors aren't around to pardon, or to groups or to nations, and just say we start over, but in this condition, as if they had been pardoned.

Otherwise everything is ancient grudges with modern weapons, as George Carlin put it.

Absent a reason to, don't bring it up, is the policy.

PatCA said...

Sadly, I think Sowell is right. There is so little wrong with life in America that demagogues are stuck with rooting against their own people in a war to make political points. How sexy is health insurance compared to bombs exploding on the daily news shows? If the good news from Iraq continues, I fear the worst from them.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Heavens! I don't know why anyone would think this has anything to do with opposing the Administration.

WaPo:

"All eight living former secretaries of state have signed a joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warning that the nonbinding resolution "would endanger our national security interests." Three former defense secretaries, in their own letter, said Turkey probably would cut off U.S. access to a critical air base."


NPR:

Rice said the resolution now "would be very problematic for everything we are trying to do in the Middle East."

Gates was more specific. He said top military brass, including Gen. David Petraeus and Adm. William Fallon, head of U.S. Central Command, fear a backlash by Turkey could harm the war effort in Iraq.

"About 70 percent of all air cargo going into Iraq comes — goes through Turkey," Gates said. "About a third of the fuel that they consume goes through Turkey or comes from Turkey."

Methadras said...

Sometimes I wonder if the USA simply has to much time on it's hands and is now looking for problems to whine about.

Christy said...

I don't get it. Yes, I understand the Turks deny the genocide happened, but isn't condemning Turkey rather like condemning Napoleon for the nastiness of Robespierre? And didn't the Young Turks of the Ottoman Empire use Kurds as the instrument of relocation to give them plausible deniability? Where would all our politicians be if they didn't hold plausible deniability sacred?

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

NTTAWWAOTT!

Bissage said...

That is, not that there's anything wrong with any of those things!!!

Pete Who? said...

I think a natural question is: When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents?

A better question is: who are you condemning? The current Turkish govt. takes this condemnation personally. And why wouldn't they? The government that perpetrated the genocide (Ottoman Empire) is long gone. The actual people that performed the atrocities are also gone. There's no one to condemn anymore, which means the condemnation must fall on the "heirs". Yet they're not responsible for the crimes of their parents, and condemning them as murderers is inherently unfair.

former law student said...

Why indeed? Why is there a Holocaust Museum on the National Mall? Americans were neither perpetrators nor victims, so why did we need to bring the Nazi genocide against Jews to the national attention? The US did not do much to help the victims at the time -- any refugees who came in did so under the quotas established in 1924. So by the Sowellian logic it was way too late. What was the real reason, Thomas?

Trooper York said...

As a reply, Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced a sense of the Senate resolution condemning the travesty that was Nolan Ryan for Joe Foy. A miscarriage of justice that has echoed down the decades with results that is evident to this very day.

John Costello said...

From what I remember reading in one of Saroyan's autobiographical books he said he did not blame the Turks for what they had to do or the Armenians for what they had to do (it was in section detailing the arrival of a Dashnak general to California.)

Both the Democrats and Armenian-American are ignoring the effect of the resolution on Armenians in Armenia. A sizable percentage of Armenia's GDP comes from remittances from Armenian "gastarbeiters" in Turkey, and because of Armenia's "success" in the Nagorno-Karabalkh conflict (which included the murder or expulsion of all Azeris from the area) Turkey is unwilling to establish full diplomatic or economic relations with Armenia, which clearly needs roads and rail-lines connecting it with the outside world.

Turkish and Armenian perceptions of the 1914-1920s period are, of course, totally different. Armenian Americans ignore the invasion of eastern Anatolia by the Dashnaks and Hudnaks (the two Armenian terrorist groups founded by the Russian secret police in the 1870s to help the Czars get an outlet on the Med)and the thousands or hundreds of thousands of Turkish women and children they slaughtered (the men had been called off into the army and the Young Turk government -- the most incompetent government in history before the US congress -- and the area was left undefended in late 1914.) Every Turkish town and city has public monuments to those killed at the time, and Turkish perceptions of the period are clouded by this and by the fact that almost no one can read the Ottoman era newspapers and books which did report on the expulsions and killings (Ottoman Turkish was written in an adapted form of Arabic and the vocabulary had so many Persian and Arabic words that only specialists today understand it.)

The Turks are, generally, fairly paranoid about the US (which they see as not taking their interests or safety into consideration in its dealings in the middle east), Armenia, and of course Greece. The US has not stopped the PKK from attacking and murdering Turks in Turkey from across the Turkish-Iraqi Kurdistan border, and there is considerable public pressure from both left and right to "do something." So far the Turkish government and military has not invaded Iraq. It may feel it has to. It was clearly not in Turkey's best interests to give in to French demands they bar the US from invading Iraq from the north -- they certainly got nothing from it, but then I really don't think it's in the Democrats's intersts to become the Party of Defeat either, but that's clearly what they want to become.

Cedarford said...

The important unsaid thing is MOTIVE. This resolution, condemning Turkey NOW, when the ME is a tinderbox and the US is reliant on Turkey for allowing 70% of our airlift supplies to reach Iraq, may give America the greatest wounding.

The American political system is uniquely vulnerable to foreign interest lobbying by people that have passionate ethnic or financial interests that the general American public has no great stake in and thus does not counter.
The result has been America engaged in irrational policies driven by these foreign interest groups that sometimes cause deep harm to America's interests. AIPAC is the most notorious example of this. But the Cuban lobby perpetuates our ridiculous embargo against Cuba. The Chinese business-import lobby of a few tens of thousands of very rich trade businessmen and overseas Chinese helped gut American industry and give us a 250 billion trade deficit with China. The Greek lobby almost forced Turkey out of NATO in the Cold War.

In the past, mighty AIPAC has ironically checkmated Armenian genocide resolutions in the US Congress to help preserve the Israeli-Turk relationship and also to keep, it seems, the Holocaust unique in the eyes of the American public so they in turn will always see Israel as "special" and tilt to kneejerk backing what the Zionist influencers want from America. This time, Israel has backed off because they have shown Turkey they did their best, their neocon contingent of influencers of US policy is in disgrace, and they think Iraq is a distraction from Iran...

What concerns me is that many of the liberal Democrats appear to have signed up for this may have done this with the express hope that Turkey will cut off supplies to US troops in combat. Ensuring their defeat, and a liberal Democrat victory over the evil Bush-Hitler, the real enemy. Besides air transport, 30% of our fuel and nearly all of our armor, up-armor kits must go through Turkey.
And even cancel US base rights in Eastern Turkey, which are vital to our strategic interests in the ME and Caspian sea oil areas.

The US foreign policy establishment was mobilized on a bipartisan basis to oppose the bill, with all eight living former secretaries of state signing a joint statement to that effect. This includes Democrats Madeleine Albright, Brehzinski, and Warren Christopher as well as Republicans Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, George Shultz, Lawrence Eagleburger, James Baker and Colin Powell.

Trooper York said...

Bissage, not Turkish taffy. Say it's not so. The horror, the horror.

Cedarford said...

And, somewhat off the radar screen, Turkish bases are vital to the air supply logistics system of our effort in Afghanistan. We risk stabbing the troops in Afghanistan in the back as well.

You know, Afghanistan....Where Pelosi and company claim the US must place priority on over Iraq, which is just a "distraction" from the "real war".

Trooper York said...

Just promise me won't give up bathing.
www.allaboutturkey.com/hamam.htm

SMGalbraith said...

I wonder if Bush has asked Clinton (Bill that is) to call the Democratic leadership to get this pulled? Bush's entreaties would probably go unheeded; it'll be harder to ignore Mr. Clinton.

Might be an interesting problem for Senator Clinton if that happens.

Anyway, I thought the complaint about this current Administration was its lack of realism in foreign policy-making and its unilateralism that ignored the fuller long term implications of not working with our allies.

Cowgirl Nancy Pelosi?

SMG

ZZMike said...

There's Darfur, Burma, China, Cambodia, East Timor, the list goes on. But none of these involve getting a country currently helpful to us to clam up, and none of these involve finding a way to get more of our soldiers killed. Democrats live on higher body counts. But they'd never vote to cut funding for the troops. They'd rather go sneak round the back door.


There was a resolution in 2004, Senate Resolution 188, condemning the atrocities in Darfur. As with the current one, Sudanese Arabs were incensed. Sure is getting harder to please everybody.

crypticguise said...

The cynical motivation behind issuing this resolution by the Democrats in Congress is traitorous.

Can we hang them all? Let's do it!

Bissage said...

Woops! That 10:59 comment of mine was kind of improvident.

Color it gone.

Please let me make amends with some other links

There!

Barlycorn, John said...

Thank you Nancy Pelosi. The Republican base was getting kind of discouraged. This issue, the Petraus/Betrayus, Google/Moveon have set the base on fire.

Hubris, Nancy. "The President shall make foreign policy." Those words ring a bell?

Bissage said...

Oh, what the heck. Let's throw in some photos of that sexy, sexy Turkish pussy.

Okay, one more.

Revenant said...

I really don't care why Congress is passing this resolution. Passing it is a bad idea no matter what their reasons might be.

Are they passing it out of maliciousness or simply out of pigheaded stupidity? Eh, who cares.

Carl said...

Oh bullshit!

The Armenians have lobbied extensively for the past four years for countries to condemn the genocide.

Is it poor timing on Congress' part? Yes, but it has nothing...N O T H I N G...to do with Iraq or with embarassing Turkey.

Grow up, people, and read something other than the NY Post.

Barlycorn, John said...

but it has nothing...N O T H I N G...to do with Iraq or with embarassing Turkey.

Funny but the Turks don't see it that way, and our troops will suffer the consequences, regardless of Pelosi's intentions. I know that to you that's a feature, not a bug. This is more Pelosi/Murtha "leadership." Like I said, thank you Nancy. This revs up the base.

Barlycorn, John said...

Assad probably put this idea into her head while she was in Syria pretending to be a head of state or at least secretary of state. Of course she was kowtowing to Assad by wearing that offensive rag on her head.

Former said...

Dumb question: during WW II, did the USA pass any resolutions condemning the Ukrainian man-made famine, the Great Purges?

As much as a sympathize with the Armenians in this matter, and as much as I find it disgraceful that my homeland saw fit to avoid the issue for reasons of "Realpolitik", wartime has its own special exigencies.

Indeed, as for the timing, it must be asked: cui bono?

Buddy Larsen said...

Carl, how can you say that? Are you Turkish? The discussion concerns the effect on the Turks--your opinion is fine but totally irrelevant.

House whip Rep Hoyer was making the tv rounds this wkend, defending the condemnation. I caught the Brit Hume interview, where the defense was, in effect, that to be against this condemnation is to be "for" genocide.

Never mind that Turkey is a critical ally in a hot war,
that we have large critical bases such as Incirlik there,
that Turkey borders on Syria, Iraq, and Iran,
that Turks have hyper-focused their pride and attention on this matter,
that their officials are warning and begging us not to proceed with this percieved grave national insult,
that our own military and diplomatic officials concur with alacrity,
that Turkey hosts a vital oil pipeline to the Med,
that Turkey is the southern bastion of NATO in the Caspian-oil region and is being actively courted by an aggressive, hostile, and resurgent Russia that is now the world's top oil producer and seeking to solidify a "Caspian Axis" that will charge one penny less for a barrel of oil than that price which will start another major world war,
that Turkey is mideastern Islam's only secular democracy (besides Iraq),
that this secular gov't is barely holding its own against Islamism as is,
that a Turkish army is amove on the Turko-Iraq borders right NOW,
that the price of oil is shooting up into the high 80s over it,
that trillions of market cap are coming out of world stocks over the last two days because of all this.

No, no, never mind ANY of that, because that 1915 Turko/Armenian conflict--which we've ignored for 92 years now--has to be condemned by the US Congress RIGHT NOW!

Why? To snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the war? What else could it be? Winning in Iraq is a bad deal for the left-wing so let's knock Turkey out of the fight!

And, back on this side of the sea, what is this congress doing to help President Uribe in Colombia, in his bare-knuckle brawl against narcoterrorists and Hugo Chavez? Well, they're trying to kill the Colombia Free Trade Agreement!

Why? Because this congress doesn't like free trade --sure it keeps prices low for 300 million Americans but it does chip away at a few hundred union boss's job security. So, it's easy to see the proper route for the Dems. Their fig leaf as usual is to assert out of thin air and bogus 'polls' that Uribe is a big meanie whom we must punish.

Fine, let's have a continent from Tierra Del Fuego to the Rio Grande run by Cocaine Terror Communists--such a a small price to pay for those yummy D.C. campaign contributions!

Oh, and Brit Hume is in favor of genocide, dontcha you know. Feh. Wot a revoltin' congress.

John Stodder said...

While I don't agree with them, Turkey's position isn't, "We won't apologize for genocide." They are disputing the history.

Passing this resolution won't change the Turks' minds about history as it has been taught to them.

The U.S. population came to realize our historical complicity in the genocide of Native Americans without the prodding of outsiders. We listened to the victims, we learned the real history, we transmitted what we learned through books and movies that reflected what we learned. Now the history that Americans killed off virtually the entire population of many Indian tribes is a fact taught in schools.

Perhaps it took too long, but pressure from a bunch of political narcissists outside our borders wouldn't have hastened the process, and might have retarded it.

Congress ought to be a bit more humble about its role in the Armenian tragedy, which at this point is sheer exploitation disguised as compassion.

Buddy Larsen said...

At some point over the wkend, Speaker Pelosi said the urgency was to have the resolution while some of the victims are still alive. OK, that's noble --but at what cost?

On this and almost every issue, hasn't anybody in the leadership ever heard of a cost/benefit ratio? Is this the world, or a stage?

Bissage said...

Talk is cheap. The resolution won't go far enough. The U.S. should pay reparations.

Bissage said...

To the Turks, that is. Then we won't have to ask why they hate us.

Revenant said...

I think a natural question is: When is it a good time to condemn the murder of innocents?

When you find out about it -- and, indeed, the United States DID condemn it at the time, and Americans formed various organizations to help the Armenians.

"After virtually everyone who took part in the killing, and virtually all survivors of the massacre, are dead of old age, and the imperial government which carried out the massacre has been replaced with a democracy, said democracy being an ally that is very touchy on the subject" is NOT a good time. Why now? Why not re-condemn the Germans for killing Jews, while we're in the business of making useless political gestures? At least there are still living survivors of THAT holocaust.

Revenant said...

The Armenians have lobbied extensively for the past four years for countries to condemn the genocide. Is it poor timing on Congress' part? Yes, but it has nothing...N O T H I N G...to do with Iraq

Nothing to do with Iraq, eh?

"One of the problems we have diplomatically globally is that we have lost our moral authority which we used to have in great abundance. People around the globe who are familiar with these events will appreciate the fact that the United States is speaking out against a historic injustice." -- Representative Tom Lantos

Hint: what is it that Democrats claim cost us our moral authority? Hint: it begins with an "I" and rhymes with "Chirac War".

Cedarford said...

John Stodder - The U.S. population came to realize our historical complicity in the genocide of Native Americans without the prodding of outsiders. We listened to the victims, we learned the real history, we transmitted what we learned through books and movies that reflected what we learned. Now the history that Americans killed off virtually the entire population of many Indian tribes is a fact taught in schools.

A pile of PC crap from John.

Sloppy use of "genocide". There was no "deliberate" genocide plan by "Americans" - even that meaning in PC terms the Spaniards, French, English, and Portuguese with American standing in proxy for them because Indian populations crashed.
Why the crash in NA numbers? Mainly disease from animals the Europeans imported.

I don't think Stodder can dredge up a single tribe to support his claim that Americans killed off virtually the entire population of many Indian tribes, is a fact

Not after America became a nation, not from any deliberate policy. A few tribes were lost to epidemics, some lost to conflict with other NA tribes. But no genocide. A few massacres, yes, but in a time and context where Native Americans were massacring others themselves.

Stodder - Congress ought to be a bit more humble about its role in the Armenian tragedy..

What role? Is America to blame for that? Along with being responsible for the Tsunami of 2004, China's Borg-like assimilation of Tibet? For Karaoke?

TheRadicalModerate said...

It's suspicious, but this seems to be more Tom Lantos than Pelosi. Lantos is certainly no supporter of the war, but he was a hawk back in '91. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I think Lantos has too much integrity to be this devious--he's a straight shooter. Also, remember that he's the co-chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. As such, it would be natural for him to shepherd stuff like this through the Foreign Relations committee.

Simon said...

Christy said...
"I don't get it. Yes, I understand the Turks deny the genocide happened, but isn't condemning Turkey rather like condemning Napoleon for the nastiness of Robespierre?"

Actually, linearly-speaking, I think it's more like blaming Patrice MacMahon, duc de Magenta, for Robespierre's crimes.

paul a'barge said...

You know who you are:
A better question is: who are you condemning? The current Turkish govt. takes this condemnation personally. And why wouldn't they? The government that perpetrated the genocide (Ottoman Empire) is long gone. The actual people that performed the atrocities are also gone. There's no one to condemn anymore, which means the condemnation must fall on the "heirs". Yet they're not responsible for the crimes of their parents, and condemning them as murderers is inherently unfair.

OK, then. I guess we'll just close up the Holocaust museums and bulldoze the concentration camps in Germany and Poland. Better tell those perpetually unforgetful Jews to STFU, right?

Wrong. Never Forget.

Here's the thing ... yes, it's best of all to stop genocide before it happens, but when it does happen, you never forget.

Never forget. That's the single axiom from the Holocaust, right? Never forget.

Well, when it comes to other genocide, and that includes the slaughter of Armenians and the slaughter of Cambodians, never forget.

Like I said, you folks who are bashing Pelosi over this may be correct about her motives, but the Turks need to learn never to forget what was done to the Armenians.

About the bases in Turkey? Remember that when we invaded Iraq the Turks denied us access to the same bases.

See what I mean about Never Forget?

Buddy Larsen said...

That's the point, tho --relations need to be better with Turkey.

The problem is not that anyone wants to forget--the problem is that the gov't has serious domestic enemies and humiliating it in front of its own people is a serious step which many observers believe is wildly out of kilter with the situation.

SMGalbraith said...

Never forget. That's the single axiom from the Holocaust, right? Never forget.

Well, President Reagan in a formal proclamation (link) denounced the genocide of the Armenians and in 1984 Congress passed a resolution setting April 24 as a day of remembrance for those losses.

That certainly isn't indicative of neglect or forgetfulness on our part.

So I'm not clear as to how the absence of another Congressional resolution - even a more formal one - leads to any historical amnesia of the mass murder of the Armenians.

I am clear, though, on the fact that one has to be 100% whole grain nuts to want to be President. Headache after headache after headache.

SMG

Gedaliya said...

See what I mean about Never Forget?

What does this have to do with issuing a congressional condemnation of the Turkish government?

Are you suggesting that the US Congress pass a resolution condemning Germany for the Holocaust?

Or are you more interested in sabotaging our war effort in Iraq?

Revenant said...

See what I mean about Never Forget?

It's "Never Forget", not "Never Stop Going On About It".

matthew said...

Funny how people aren't questioning the timing of Bush's honoring of the Dali Lami, which China condemns, at a time when much of our war in Iraq is being funded through selling debt to China.

Of course we should condemn genocide. What's wrong with people.

Trooper York said...

I'm just worried that they will figure out that Vic and the strike team hit the money train and all hell will break out.

Gedaliya said...

...when much of our war in Iraq is being funded through selling debt to China.

Oh please. BDS is a serious illness that gets worse with time, like Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms include increasing banality and a tendancy to post drivel in blog comment sections.

Seek help before it's too late.

Strabo the Lesser said...

I would like to follow this up with a resolution condemning the Democratic party for opposing the liberation from slavery of millions of Americans in 1864. After all, if history is in play, why not? Let's remember the 1864 Democratic Party platform demanding defeat by the Confederacy in the Civil war:


"Resolved, That this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretense of a military necessity of war-power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view of an ultimate convention of the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States. "

SMGalbraith said...

the timing of Bush's honoring of the Dali Lami, which China condemns, at a time when much of our war in Iraq is being funded through selling debt to China.

He's here to receive a Congressional Gold Medal.

Second, China needs access to our markets more than we need them financing our debt.

Third, we've spent $400 billion over 5 years in Iraq. In a $13 trillion economy with a $3 trillion budget (and deficits declining), that's a drop in a bucket.

Okay, two drops.

SMG

Buddy Larsen said...

Matthew, that's what Rep Hoyer said --disapprove of the politico-diplomatic demarche, and you're "for" genocide. Is this how it is in your mind, really?

And the war is costing a percent of GDP. The deficit is a percent and a half of GDP. This is historically low.

The percent-of-GDP is the number that matters, because it refers to both sides of the ledger.

Treasury doesn't force debt on China. Treasury holds open auctions. All bidders are welcome to invest in the USA by buying Treasury debt.

If USA wasn't making a positive spread on the deal, the yields would be sky high. They're not. In fact they're very low.

paul a'barge said...

Revenant:
It's "Never Forget", not "Never Stop Going On About It".

Oh shut up, you whining little twit.

The point of the blog entry is to discuss the incident, and the point of the incident is to confront the Turks with the Armenian genocide, about which they've bloody been little confronted over history.

If you don't have the 'nads to stand against genocide, at least have the common decency to go back to drinking your double soy latte at Starbucks and stay out of serious discussions.

Gedaliya said...

The point of the blog entry is to discuss the incident, and the point of the incident is to confront the Turks with the Armenian genocide...

The Turks who committed the Armenian genocide are dead. This incident is about helping to defeat the United States in Iraq, not condemning the genocide.

You'll feel better if you stop lying to yourself and admit the truth. After all, the first step toward recovery is to admit that you are suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome and that you are powerless to overcome it without help from a higher power.

Issuing jejune insults to longtime posters here isn't going to help you in your recovery effort.

Revenant said...

The point of the blog entry is to discuss the incident, and the point of the incident is to confront the Turks with the Armenian genocide, about which they've bloody been little confronted over history.

So go confront them, shit for brains. Nobody's stopping you.

The US government *already* condemned the incident in question. Can you offer a rational reason why one official condemnation isn't good enough, or would you prefer to keep whining? And if one isn't good enough, why will do be? Hell, let's pass one an hour for the next hundred years, lest people think we don't care. Nevermind that there is no reason for the US government to officially give a shit if the Armenians got slaughtered by the long-since-dead Ottoman Empire or not. Hell, let's get cracking on that condemnation of the slaughter of Christians by the Roman lions while we're at it, that'll teach those uppity Italians a thing or two.

Hey, here's a suggestion -- why don't the Democrats pass a resolution condemning the genocide of the Iraqi people by the insurgents? After all, we're told that anywhere from hundreds of thousands to several million innocent Iraqis have been murdered by the insurgency over the past few years, which would make it every bit as bad as the Armenian genocide and a hell of a lot more recent.

Oh, I forgot. The Democrats don't give a shit if lots of Iraqis get killed by the insurgency. In fact, they're busy doing all they can to keep us from stopping the insurgency.

Well, at least they're totally on top of that oh-so-pressing Armenian Genocide thing. God knows the Ottoman Empire might have returned from the grave to continue its foul genocidal work if we hadn't dropped everything to condemn them.

SMGalbraith said...

If you don't have the 'nads to stand against genocide,

A smart aleck might notice the difference among some (note the qualifier please) on the progressive side of the aisle (Obama anyone?) who say that stopping genocide in Iraq is not sufficient reason for us to stay there.

And yet also say that we must - must - vote for this resolution condemning genocide nearly a century ago. For if not, we are countenacing such acts.

Frankly, I'd like to prevent genocide in Iraq more than denouncing a genocide that occurred 100 years ago.

Granted, we can do both. But let's get them in the right sequence.

SMG

DWPittelli said...

Ending a currently ongoing genocide in Darfur, among other places recently, isn't worth endangering even 1,000 U.S. soldiers (according to the judgments of U.S. governments of both parties). So why is condemning a 90-year-old genocide worth endangering 100,000 soldiers? (not to mention the people of Iraq)?

AJ Lynch said...

The Dem Congress is going thru the motions. They mistake activity for progress.

My state legislature is about the same. They are bragging about making it unlawful to prosecute women for breastfeeding in public and enabling electronic signatures on govt contracts. I msut have been out of town when my fellow Pennsylvanians clamored for these types of reforms.

Next, one of the legislature's "rising stars according to the Phila Inquirer" has proposed a ban on the use of hand-held cell phones when driving. Cutting edge stuff heh? Don't know how we would survive without them.

Ralph said...

Would you crimp the hose while firefighters are inside battling the flames? Then you can push for passage of H. Res. 106, The Armenian Genocide Resolution, while our people still need the supply line through Turkey.

There is no more to the issue than that.

SDN said...

Doyle, it doesn't have to be said. It's obvious to anyone with an IQ over room temperature that the Democrat Party has continued in Copperhead mode.

matthew said...

Of course we should honor the Dali Lami too. I really don't see a problem with either action.

But I do find it very intersting/odd that we're instantly 'worried' about Turkey's reaction to a non-binding resolution denouncing genocide, but we're not 'worried' in the slightest about Bush and Congress pissing of China by honoring the Dali Lami. There is a bit of a disconnect here... especially since our economy (which affects my everyday existence more than Iraq) is tied a lot closer to Beijing than Istanbul.

While this has some amount of Democratic pandering to it, I remember quite clearly being a sophomore in college and my friend told me it a day to remember the Armenian genocide in Turkey. I had never even heard of such a thing until that point moment. And I doubt most of the posters here knew much about it until this resolution came out...

SMGalbraith said...

But I do find it very intersting/odd that we're instantly 'worried' about Turkey's reaction to a non-binding resolution denouncing genocide, but we're not 'worried' in the slightest about Bush and Congress pissing of China by honoring the Dali Lami. There is a bit of a disconnect here...

But this is an instance where China can't do much of anything about the honorifics. As you probably know, a number of Western leaders have met or will openly meet with the Dali Lama.

China needs Western markets much more than we need them buying our T-bills. They stop financing our debt, we can reciprocate by shutting down access to our markets. A trade/protectionist war will be bloody; but for every pint we lose, they'll lose a gallon.

SMG

Barlycorn, John said...

Sorry quislings, Pelosi is backing down. Seems a few Dems are getting cold feet at stabbing the military in the back during a hot war.

Others were worried that pissing off Turkey would make their planned cut and run more difficult.

Revenant said...

But I do find it very intersting/odd that we're instantly 'worried' about Turkey's reaction to a non-binding resolution denouncing genocide, but we're not 'worried' in the slightest about Bush and Congress pissing of China by honoring the Dali Lami

The reason we're not worried about Bush "pissing off China", Matthew, is that nobody who understands US-Chinese trade relations thinks China is going to stop buying bonds in a fit of pique. They need to support the US dollar even more than we need them to buy our bonds. In contrast, Turkey does NOT need us using their bases. The Turkish government would actually much rather we didn't use them at all. It would probably, truth be told, like to see us out of Iraq entirely, since then it would have free reign to invade Kurdistan. In simple terms: it is in China's interest to buy our debt. It is not in Turkey's interest to help us fight in Iraq. We're having to bribe them to do it as it is.

Finally, Turkey is a democracy and China is not. The ruling elites of China are not going to cripple their own economy just to send an "F You" to George Bush. The people of Turkey, on the other hand, may very well be willing to end Turkish support for the extremely unpopular war in Iraq if we insist on offending them.

I remember quite clearly being a sophomore in college and my friend told me it a day to remember the Armenian genocide in Turkey. I had never even heard of such a thing until that point moment.

It isn't exactly a secret, you know. But let's be realistic -- while it was shocking when it happened, ninety years ago, it barely makes the Top Ten list of Biggest Acts of Genocide of the past hundred years. China and Russia each have a couple under their belts, plus Germany, Cambodia, Sudan (still ongoing), Pakistan, and Japan. There's no particular reason for us to be lavishing special attention on it. Why not call China and Russia on the carpet first? They're not only bigger killers -- they're also not our allies!

SMGalbraith said...

Revenant:
The reason we're not worried about Bush "pissing off China", Matthew, is that nobody who understands US-Chinese trade relations thinks China is going to stop buying bonds in a fit of pique.

Yes, but they could make things even more difficult re Iran.

E.g., vetoes/weakening sanctions resolutions.

Russia and China are clearly trying to position themselves more favorably while we are expending resources (military, economic, diplomatic) in Iraq.

SMG

John Stodder said...

Cedarford you completely missed my point, especially here:

Stodder - Congress ought to be a bit more humble about its role in the Armenian tragedy..

What role? Is America to blame for that? Along with being responsible for the Tsunami of 2004, China's Borg-like assimilation of Tibet? For Karaoke?


No, I was agreeing with you, Cedarford! Congress is inserting itself into the tragedy where it can play no useful role. All they can offer now is words. They can't force the Turks to believe something they don't believe, or acknowledge something they decline to acknowledge. We're not third-grade teacher to the world. I suspect that's a statement you agree with.

As for the rest of what I said, you focused on the word genocide, and I'll acknowledge it has a narrower meaning than the way I used it. I should have said something much more precise, a word more associated with wars and massacres. And in digging around the history, I'm actually surprised at the estimated extent to which disease is given as the cause of the deaths of the Indian population. So if what I wrote was "PC crap" it wasn't intentional, but the product of my ignorance of history.

I suppose I could've used slavery as my example. My actual point was: American's understanding of our history, including misdeeds of our history, wasn't explained to us by someone pretending to judge us from abroad. It's not our job to repeatedly wag our fingers at the Turks for their alleged historic crime. It means nothing when we do so. It's just narcissistic, hypocritical posturing.

Revenant said...

[Re: ticking off the Chinese]

Yes, but they could make things even more difficult re Iran. E.g., vetoes/weakening sanctions resolutions.

In all honesty, I think the chance of the UN playing a useful role in Iran is smaller than the chance of Iran being randomly wiped off the map by a freak meteor impact. The UN security council hasn't made itself useful since the Korean War.

Revenant said...

Sorry, one more point, SMG.

Yes, Russia and China are trying to better their positions while we're "busy in Iraq". But, um... we're trying to better OUR position too. That's one reason why we're IN Iraq.

A secular democracy, right smack in the middle of oil territory, within easy range of most of our remaining enemies and rivals. That would be a major advantage to us -- as would the fact that we would no longer be dependent on kowtowing to a mixed bag of pissant Arab oil dictatorships whenever we wanted to get something done in that part of the world. On top of that, when combined with Afghanistan and the Persian gulf it puts every part of Iran within immediate striking distance.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If you don't have the 'nads to stand against genocide, at least have the common decency to go back to drinking your double soy latte at Starbucks and stay out of serious discussions.

Passing a toothless resolution for an act of genocide committed by a government nearly a century ago that no longer exists takes 'nads'? Please.

Taking a stand against genocide means telling the perpetrator to cease and desist on pain of death and destruction through overwhelming military force. That takes nads. Hand wringing and expressing 'grave convcern' is posing, nothing more.

John Costello said...

People might find the comments and editorials at Turkish Daily News (in English) interesting:
http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/