Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Shame on US for weak stance on Turkey

13 Nov. 2007
Hellenic News of America, PA

Shame on US for weak stance on Turkey

By Theodore M. Polychronis
Regarding recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the U.S. Congress ("Genocide vote gets postponed," Oct. 27): When the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questioned the genocide perpetrated against the Jews by Adolf Hitler, our entire administration and Congress, as well as some academics (such as the infamous Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger), protested vehemently and expressed moral outrage. Many of these people are urging severe punishment of Iran, including going to war against it.

To my knowledge, the Germans did not deny their crimes committed against the Jews, and we never concerned ourselves with their feelings during the Nuremberg trials and later, and as far as I know they continue to pay reparations to this date. We did the moral thing.

When a nonbinding resolution is introduced in our U.S. Congress to call the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians by the Turks (only about 20 years before Hitler) a genocide, our administration and pathetic Congress go wild and refuse to do so, lest the Turks be offended. They then proceed to present the arguments that our entire Iraq war effort will collapse and that, if the Turks are upset, this will have dire effects on the national security of the United States. And they proceed to laud Turkey as being the only "secular democracy" in the region, and if we pass such a nonbinding resolution (acknowledging a historical event) all will be lost forever. The position of our administration and Congress in this affair is unacceptable, shameful and immoral. The fact of the matter is that the genocide against the Armenian population in Turkey did occur, as did the genocide against the Greek populations in the region at about the same time, and the refusal of our elected representatives to accept it does not alter this fact.

To dispel some of the myths perpetrated by the well-funded Turkish lobby and their powerful agents here in the U.S., the present-day Turkey is not, in my opinion, a democracy and has never been one.

Turkey depends on the U.S. and its handouts. Until recently, and probably still today, Turkey has been a large recipient of U.S. aid, military and economic.

Turkey is an international outlaw nation, maintaining after more than 30 years a disputed occupation of part of the Republic of Cyprus, maintaining a blockade of the Republic of Armenia, threatening Kurdish Iraq, threatening Greece and its Aegean islands and continuously violating the Greek airspace.

The "democratic" Turkish state, which imprisons people for ?insulting Turkishness,? has embarked on a campaign against the large Kurdish minority.

Sadly, our U.S. press and media collaborate with the Turks and go to great lengths to present them in a favorable light, in spite of facts. An example was the newspapers calling the recently elected Turkish President Gul a "former Islamist" (I am curious to ask exactly what a "former" Islamist is).

Let us also briefly refresh our memories as to what kind of allies the Turks are, when they prohibited our military to use some bases in Turkey during our invasion of Iraq.

To all this I ask, where is our moral outrage? We don�t need Turkey; Turkey needs us. Our free speech rights supersede the limitations of the Turkish dictators. To allow the Turks with their sordid historical and human rights record to lobby and interfere with our political institutions and dispute our decisions and beliefs and threaten us when we disagree is unconscionable.

How dare the Turks impose upon us their undemocratic censorship on our free speech and our right to call a spade a spade ? and the Armenian Genocide a genocide?

And what are we to think of our elected representatives and administrations on the matter?

Shame on all of us.

THEODORE M. POLYCHRONIS is a Glendale resident.

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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