An unwise moment for the Armenian genocide resolution?
Posted by Charles II on October 13, 2007
At this moment, US-Turkish relations are at a low, since the US is harboring Kurdish terrorists to serve as insurgents against Iran. Unfortunately, they also have a habit of attacking Turkey, inflaming the easily-ignited nationalists.
So, why did the Congress choose this moment to issue its resolution condemning the Armenian genocide? We’ve had almost a century to take that step. We have always been otherwise occupied. Nor have we made reparations for the genocides in which we have been involved. Even compensation for thefts from Native American accounts by the Dept. of the Interior drags needlessly on.
One may argue that even at the worst possible moment, putting this condemnation on the record is needed. Still, this is also a moment when America’s moral authority is at a low ebb. One has to wonder whether this is not part of the nihilistic instinct of this age summarized so well by the catch phrase, “Chaos is the plan.”
Reading the foreign press is always a challenge. With the exception of a few nations, anything in English is probably directed toward a foreign audience. So, one has to interpolate from the tone to guess the viewpoint of the speaker. At any rate, both news and op-eds at the Turkish Daily News are uniformly negative.
Turkey had warned the United States that bilateral ties would be severely damaged if the bill was approved and threatened that it could terminate its logistics support to Washington, which transits its equipment to Iraq through Turkish territory. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, however, in an interview with the private CNN Türk channel, softened Ankara’s stance….
Turkey's red lines are turning pink and even disappearing. The United States is totally ignoring all Turkish red lines, be they about northern Iraq, related to its war against terrorism or to the national pride of the country, like the Armenian genocide claims, or the Suleymaniyah hood incident.
Turks are fed up. Turks have started to question what kind of an allied relationship this country has with the United States that Washington is so ignorant of the sensitivities of Turkey.
The problem is that the U.S. is seen by the public, and by quite a few ranking military officials, as not only emboldening the PKK in northern Iraq, but also supplying it with arms after members of the terrorist group were caught with American weapons. In other words a cross-border operation has now taken on the added meaning of not only going after the PKK, but also “showing the Americans that Turkey will do what it will regardless of what Washington says,” especially since so few Turks see America as a friendly country anyway.
First, father Bush cost Turkey tens of billions of petrodollars by starting the first Gulf war; then, Bush Junior set not only Iraq but the entire Middle East on fire. All at Turkey’s cost. Turks have been very patient with their American allies. First, the Pentagon teamed up with Kurds instead of Turks for their big journey into Iraq and pushed Turks away claiming they did not want the partnership. Then they laid all the blame of the disastrous war on Turks.
I’m sorry to see Turkey deny the copious evidence that there was a genocide. Most nations on earth have dark deeds in their past. Maturity means coming to terms with it, of understanding that all people are capable of evil– but also of overcoming it. Still, I doubt that the actions of the US Congress–coming at a moment when we have no moral authority–will do much more than divide our two nations.
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