Remembering the Armenian Genocide

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has voted to recognize that Turkey committed genocide against the Armenians in WW1. Wikipedia article on the genocide, and on international recognition of it.

The White House is opposed–they don’t want to offend Turkey. So. Here’s where the US stands. We’ll complain about human rights violations by our enemies, and use those as a pretext for war and sanctions, but will continue to wink at and ignore violations by our friends (be they Turkey, El Salvador, Guatemala, etc.)–while of course denying that we would ever engage in human rights violations ourselves (e.g., torture, be it at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib or secret CIA prisons abroad, or under CIA direction in Central America).

The Turks murdered 1.5 million Armenians.

George Bush says for Congress to acknowledge this “would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror.”

Condi Rice says for Congress to acknowledge this “at this time would be very problematic for everything we are trying to do in the Middle East.” Hmm. Seems to me if we took the high moral ground, and held ourselves and our friends to the same standard we expect of our enemies–to be consistent in our defense of liberty and human rights, shall we say–would in fact be a refreshing change of pace and might actually do some good in the Middle East.

Turkey’s government is seeking parliamentary approval for a military operation to chase separatist Kurdish rebels who operate from bases in northern Iraq.

Reminds me of the movie made by my friend Kevin McKiernan: “Good Kurds, Bad Kurds.””Good Kurds,” for the US, are those in northern Iraq who wanted freedom from Saddam. “Bad Kurds” are their cousins a few miles further north who want freedom from Turkey.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the resolution’s sponsor, who is not on the committee, said that he hoped that it would now move quickly to a vote on the House floor.

“America must speak candidly about the past not only to help heal the wounds of the survivors and the families of the victims, but to give the United States the moral authority it needs to take action against other genocides like that taking place today in Darfur,” he said following the vote.

New York Times article.

Update: Rod Dreher seems to be in favor of appeasement of Turkey.