Saturday, March 6, 2010

Revisiting the Armenian Genocide

 We tax all the others and pass the revenue on to you

The 1915 Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Turks is back in the news.  Some in Congress want the US to call it what it was, some don't.  The House Foreign Affairs Committee narrowly voted the matter to the floor Thursday.  You read about the genocide here last April 24.

The prez wants Congress to drop the issue altogether.  (Reminder:  He promised to acknowledge it as genocide during his campaign.)  Turkey recalled its ambassador "for talks", Hillary says it's because we don't want to jeopardize the ongoing Turkey-Armenia reconciliation talks.  The Azeris don't want to disturb the endless Nagorno-Karabakh talks, either.  Say what?

This isn't about US foreign relations, or Nagorno-Karabakh or about the Turkey-Armenia reconciliation talks which are already stalled over the same issue.  Maybe, just maybe, if those talks would give rise to an international body to settle the issue (a precondition to the talks in the first place), then maybe we could wait a little while longer.  BUT THAT AIN'T HAPPENING!  It would embarrass the Turks too much, don'cha know?

Just a few points here:

1.  1,500,000 or so innocent Armenians died in a very short time by order of the Turkish pasha, who wanted to exterminate Armenia, period.  That happened, mass murder with an agenda.  It was witnessed and well documented and that's genocide, folks.

2.  The prez's word is no good on this issue.  He promised one thing and did another.

3.  If the administration can't tell the truth about a foreign catastrophe, why should we believe them when they tell us about our impending domestic catastrophes... and how they saved us from them.  Lucky us, but they spent our children's future to do whatever it is they say they did.  Say, do you remember exactly what that was?

4.  If we're not to call it a genocide, what DO we call it?  "Man-caused disaster" has already been taken (thank you, JanieN).  

We've gone through this same soul-searching (to the extent our national soul still exists) before.  Hitler is supposed to have said "Who remembers the extermination of the Armenians?"  OK, point taken, Adolph, but we remember the Holocaust... and we damn you.

Who among us remembers Pol Pot?  Mao?  Mao, maybe, but usually for the Long March or the Little Red Book, not for the worst genocide in history.  Stalin?  Something vaguely reminiscent there but who can place the Ukrainian genocide or the one in Chechnya?  Rwanda?  Does anyone these days even know where Rwanda is?  ("Africa" doesn't count.)  Darfur?  The government of Sudan is sponsoring the Darfur genocide and we're fixated on Toyota's brake problems.  Where did the American moral compass go?

Is it too much to ask of our government that, at the very least, it not do business with genocidal monsters and that it call genocide by its name?  No, today's Turks aren't monsters but there are others who qualify.  The Turks do have a dark past that needs exposure to the light of truth.  Justice will never be done (and forget reparations) but that sad murmuring you hear is the voices of 1.5 million lost souls pleading "Give a name to what happened to me." 

* * * * *

One death is a tragedy.  A million deaths is a statistic.

Joseph Stalin

1 comment:

  1. "Lies written in ink cannot disguise facts written in blood." Lu Xun (1881-1936)