Editorial: Denouncing Turkey
01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, October 20, 2007
The 27-21 vote by the House Foreign Affairs Committee demanding that
the U.S. government acknowledge that Turkey committed genocide against
the Armenian people in the early 20th Century seems mostly a publicity
stunt against the Bush administration.
The latter doesn’t want to irritate the Turkish government, which has
been helping the American effort in Iraq, and Democrats want to
embarrass the White House by making it seem that the administration is
in bed with the Turks. It’s all part of the effort to further bury the
Republicans in the PR mess of the Iraq war. The effect of the vote
might be for the Turks to stop cooperating with U.S. military efforts
in the region, at least regarding Iraq.
The Ottoman Empire, which preceded what we know now as Turkey, did try
to clear the Armenians from their Muslim empire, and committed mass
murder in the process, with perhaps a million dying. But numerous
other regimes, some still in power (especially including communist
China), have tried to get rid of various ethnic, economic and other
groups, without resolutions from Congress alleging genocide. Where are
the congressional denunciations of them?
What’s going on here, besides the nod to the Armenian vote in the
United States, is a gleeful attempt to make the Bush administration
look as if it countenances the brutality of a long-dead empire, part
of whose territory became a Mideast ally of the United States.
Unfortunately, this political stunt could do more than hurt
Republicans – it could damage the United States.