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View Full Version : genocide is the latest political buzzword

2007-10-14, 19:16
Recently a U. S. House of Representatives committee approved the labeling of the deaths of Armenians in the 1910s in Turkey, as genocide. The resolution is 110th Congress, House Resolution 106 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.res.00106:). The text of the resolution is the following:

Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution - Calls upon the President: (1) to ensure that U.S. foreign policy reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the U.S. record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution; and (2) in the President's annual message commemorating the Armenian Genocide to characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide, and to recall the proud history of U.S. intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.

So far the reasons given to oppose the resolution have been political reasons. Typically, what's been said is that Turkey is a vital ally serving strategic interests for the United States, and it would be a bad move to offend the country by approving the resolution.

And it appears that the reasons for support of the resolution have been political as well, with bearded Armenian women in wheel chairs lobbying the Congress for approval, and Congressmen in districts with relatively high amounts of Armenians supporting the resolution.

No academic question has been raised as to whether the deaths of Armenians in 1915 were actually genocide. The worth of anything that comes from the Congress is usually political rather than substantive. Congress is really not a prestigious institution, but like the many "prestigious" doctors who are on the take from pharmaceutical companies, is a place where one who is a member can increase his wealth by being on the take from lobbyists.

U. S. foreign policy is affected by these political decisions made by scoundrels on the take, whose decisions affect other people around the World because they have a lot of money and power. For example the day that the committee approved the resolution, the Turks must have known that there were many Americans who felt apologetic for it. And as a result they felt emboldened on that very day to attack Kurdish "rebels" in northern Iraq. These Kurds are the same people who were victimized by Saddam. Now that they are getting attacked by an American NATO ally though, it's okay to suppress them and abuse them. If the United States were to do the right thing it would stand not with the Turks, but with the Kurds and with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and support their sovereignty and the formation of their own country Kurdistan; carved out of southern Turkey, northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, and western Iran.

After all the United States has shown in other areas that it has no problem doing the "right thing" regardless of national security implications. If the United States were really concerned about a negative reaction from Turks for strategic reasons, then it also ought to rethink its strong support of Israel with 13 million Jews worldwide, which has caused animosity amongst the World's 1.5 billion Muslims towards the United States.

I think whether genocide has occurred or not is not a black and white answer, but there are shades of grey. Some historical cases seem more obvious than others. In regards to Darfur in Sudan, the case for labeling the killing of the people there as genocide is not as strong to me as it is for the labeling of the killing of Armenians in the 1910s. Yet in 2004 president Bush declared that genocide was occurring in Darfur, but now in 2007 is opposed to the labeling of the killing of Armenians as genocide.

In Turkey it is illegal to call the Armenian deaths genocide, and in many countries in Europe it is illegal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial) to dispute the historical record of the "Holocaust". In 1994 the United Nations was relunctant to admit that the killings in Rwanda were genocide or otherwise it would have been obligated to do something to prevent it.

A lot of Americans might be uncomfortable labeling the death of the native Americans as genocide, or the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan as genocide.

I find it interesting that Israel supports Turkey on the position that the deaths of Armenians was not genocide. The reason so is that Turkey and Israel have a strong relationship, and Israel chooses to make the strategic choice of defending its ally. And perhaps for them genocide only occurs when it involves Jews, so that they can keep their exclusive trademark on the word. The ZioNazis running Israel and herding Palestinians into ghettos really aren't so different from the Nazis who herded Jews into ghettos 70 years ago.

Seeing that the definition of genocide has become politicized, I don't see why there was a big uproar when the Iranian president asked some questions about the killing of the Jews in the 1930s and the 1940s. He simply wanted to know why if the killings occurred in Europe, that it was Palestinian people in the Middle East who had to pay the reparations for it. Why wasn't Israel carved out of German, Austrian, or Polish land?