Saturday, October 20, 2007

Turkish Temper Tantrum

October 20, 2007 01:00 PM EST
The Conservative Voice, NC
by Craig Chamberlain
Contrary to Craig's assertion "That being said Congress has better things to do. If they want to deal with genocide why not deal with the situation in Darfur, which is ongoing, instead of talking about something that happened in 1915?" Craig, there were survivors of the genocide whose descendants are living today with the pain of denial every single day. May be this does not present any problem to you but for me and my family as Armenian genocide descendants it does. Elie Wiesel said the denial of a genocide is the last stage of genocide. A congressman at the subcommittee put it better, the denial of a genocide is the beginning of another genocide. Or may be in parochial parlance, if you are up to your eyeballs in alligators you forget that you had to pull out the plug in the first place. Thus I find your argument short sighted. Remember what Hitler said before the invasion of Poland, Who remembers the Armenians? I guess if the Americans are ready to forget, Armenians have to carry the heavy load of reminding. Gradually the events are forcing Armenians to become the conscience of the world against all genocides.
If the Armenian genocide of 1915 wasn't a genocide then why are the Turks so enraged whenever the subject comes up? Yes, it's true that the massacre happened during a time of war and that some Turks lost their lives. But the campaign was nothing more than an attempt by the failing Ottoman government to wipe out the Armenians. After all they weren't Turks and they weren't Muslims so why have them around.

Not that the Armenians were the first victims of Turkish agression. For over a century the Turks ruled and brutalized the Balkans, with acts of violence and forcibly taking Christian children from their homes and making them Janisarries in the Ottoman army. (Now all of that is in the past, although if Erdogan has his way the old Turkey might emerge again.)The Greeks who had been living in Asia minor since the bronze age were forcibly expelled by the Turks after world war one. The Kurds had every shred of the culture buried by the Turks(the Turks went so far as to deny that they Kurds even existed, referring to them as "mountain Turks).

In the old days the Turks targeted their victims for religious reasons. Non Muslims were the victims of their violence. After the rise of Ataturk Jihad was replaced by Turkish Chauvinism. Now Turkey is trying to combine the two. Erdogan is trying to create a new Islamism at home and nationalism abroad.

That being said Congress has better things to do. If they want to deal with genocide why not deal with the situation in Darfur, which is ongoing, instead of talking about something that happened in 1915? The answer is that Congress likes grandstanding and chest thumping, they just don't like to take any action.

Instead all they do is agitate a very touchy country, a country that already wants to invade Iraq so they can launch a new campaign against the Kurds(if Erdogan has his way he'll turn the hunt for a few PKK rebels into a new genocide) though it seems after Erdogan has gotten to rattle the saber he's backing down. The situation in Iraq is still dangerous, even after the success of the surge, and we couldn't have allowed the Turks to invade the Kurdish region which happens to be the most stable part of Iraq.

As allies the Turks are valuable, but not irreplaceable. Under Erdogan relations have gotten worse from cool to downright frozen. Still it would be in the interests of the United States to keep the Turks on our side. Congress should abandon the resolution, there's nothing that can be done about it. If they want to stop violence let them stop something that's still ongoing. The Turks are going to be Turks no matter how Congress votes.

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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