Sunday, October 28, 2007

Art Tonoyan, guest column: Turkey blackmails U.S. to ignore its sins

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Waco Tribune Herald, TX

Some 90 years ago the Ottoman Turkish government set out in the most thorough fashion to destroy its Christian minorities. But the brunt of the Turkish ire fell on Armenian Christians.


Actually, considerable credit went to the combined relief efforts of American Protestant missionaries, philanthropists such as John D. Rockefeller and statesmen such as William Jennings Bryan.

The U.S. Congress is debating a non-binding resolution recognizing that the Ottoman government’s efforts to destroy Armenians indeed constituted a genocide.[...], backed by self-evident facts, has brought shameless Turkish tantrums combined with political blackmail, and meddling into U.S. internal affairs.

So doing, Turkey indirectly has threatened the lives of U.S. service personnel in Iraq.


Who would have thought that the United States could be so bullied?

The timing of the resolution? I would argue it is 90 years too late. But similar resolutions have come up year after year in Congress. Year after year the proposal is shot down for fear of offending the Turks.

Always, say the opponents, the time is not right.

Either it’s the Cold War, or the first Gulf War, or this Gulf War or the war on terrorism.

[...], this Turkish government, while allowing the shipment of supplies, refused to allow the staging of coalition troops in opening of the northern front into Iraq. Turkey did so in hopes of scoring political points with the European Union.

This ended up costing time, U.S. lives and U.S. tax dollars.

That’s not all. Turkey’s Islamist government has courted the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, called the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians a “genocide” (a dose of inescapable irony) and has signed lucrative business deals with the regime of Iranian mullahs by effectively sidestepping U.S. calls to isolate Iran.


The symbolic resolution in question before Congress is a simple act of affirmation of history. It is not by any stretch of the imagination directed at the current Turkish government, although Turkey perceives it as such.

Some 23 nations have passed similar resolutions in the past decade.

The fault for the current debacle should not therefore be located in partisan politics, as the cynics at the Fox News and the likes of Rush Limbaugh would have us believe.

It’s in the fact that Turkey is yet to take an honest look at a past it tries so hard to deny. The tantrums it now throws are more worthy of my 2-year-old than a modern state aspiring to join the family of European nations.

Art Tonoyan is a Ph.D. candidate at Baylor University’s J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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