The Armenian Resolution Fallout

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Politico‘s Laura Rozen paints a disturbing picture of the chain of events that ultimately led the House Foreign Affairs Committee to pass the Armenian “genocide” resolution last Thursday.
Until last week, it appeared that the White House had made a calculated decision not to ask House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman to refrain from bringing the resolution to a vote. Previous administrations have often made such requests in order to prevent damage to the U.S.-Turkey alliance.
The decision to acquiesce to the vote appeared to be motivated by politics and the administration’s desire to keep Obama’s campaign promise that he would recognize the Armenian genocide.
But, as Rozen details in her piece, the story is more complicated. Secretary of State Clinton called Berman last Wednesday night – the evening before a vote that had been on the legislative calendar for a month – to indicate that the vote could jeopardize U.S-Turkey relations. But it was too late. Berman called the vote and it passed by a single vote.
Rozen’s sources suggest that the White House simply dropped the ball. The only other plausible explanation I can conceive is that Clinton’s last-minute phone call was a purposefully ineffective ploy designed to persuade the Turks that the administration tried to prevent the vote. If that is the case, it is not working.
It is worth nothing that State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley indicated Saturday that the White House opposes bringing the resolution to a full House vote.
Another aspect of this story that is important to emphasize – and that Center for Strategic and International Studies Turkey Project Director Bulent Aliriza makes toward the end of the clip above – is that the impact of last weeks’ vote cannot be found on any one specific issue such as the United States’ use of Turkey’s Incirlik airbase or Ankara’s diplomatic cooperation on Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan.
Rather, the effect will be broader and more difficult to measure. Votes of this kind will likely strengthen anti-American elements within the Turkish political system and make it more difficult for the Turkish government to undertake unpopular decisions in support of American objectives.
— Ben Katcher

Comments

39 comments on “The Armenian Resolution Fallout

  1. Steve Doran says:

    turks commited genocide. Truth will prevail.

    Reply

  2. samuelburke says:

    everyday in the new world is take your grievance to government
    day.
    dont step on my toe day will be the next national holiday.

    Reply

  3. WigWag says:

    April 24th is indeed an interesting day; it’s the day that Armenians commemorate their genocide at the hands of the Turks. Every April 24th, the President of the United States makes a statement referencing the tragedy that befell the Armenians but in doing so, they never use the word *genocide* for fear of offending the offspring of the perpetrators; that would be the genocide-denying Turks.
    Last April 24th, Obama, like all the Presidents before him, acknowledged the tragedy but neglected to call the tragedy by its real name.
    Speaking of the Armenian Genocide, during his campaign Obama said,
    “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy.”
    He also said,
    “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides, I intend to be that President.”
    We will see whether Obama utters the word *genocide* during his April 24th remarks. The chances that he will are slim to known.
    Which will just be more evidence that Obama is a liar. Surely the Armenian voters in California (who generally lean Democrat but are really swing voters) won’t fail to notice.

    Reply

  4. Linda says:

    While I am coming 35 comments or so late to this discussion, I can shed some light on the political importance of this resoluton that is more than discussion of the Holocaust Museum and other genocides or international politics. First and foremost, this is an example of how “all politics are local.”
    When I first lived in LA in 1963, I was puzzled when almost all the gas stations were closed and draped in black bunting on April 24. A native born Armenian-American co-worker (and now a friend of almost 50 years) explained that this annual event was about the Armenian genocide. Since I was neither a political science nor history major, I either never learned about it in school or had forgotten what I learned.
    In So Cal then, most Armenian-Americans were small business owners, mostly owning gas stations and dry cleaning businesses–have no idea why. Their children went to college and now are lawyers, physicians, etc. They all have and know stories of relatives from the genocide and have wanted the international community and the U.S. government to recognize the genocide.
    Just Wiki “Armenian American” for very interesting statistics on demographics. Democrats in CA House delegation (who now chair many influential committees) know this well. Howard Berman’s 28th Congressional District is right next door to Adam Schiff’s 29th district that is probably has the highest concentration of Armenian-Americans of any Congressional district.
    This resolution undoubtedly has international foreign policy implications, but it was passed because of local politics to keep promises made for decades to Armenian-American constituents.

    Reply

  5. JohnH says:

    “What is happening to this country?” Yes, what happens when one group co-opts the horrors of the Holocaust for its own benefit and cynically marginalizes others who suffer genocide, ethnic cleansing, etc.?
    What happens? It’s obvious to anyone who cares to look at the US’ highly warped, Israel-centric Middle East policy today.

    Reply

  6. samuelburke says:

    washington is the place americans need to focus on.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/03/no-one-in-washington-
    supports-more-settlements-why-then.html
    “Bit by bit, now in a piece on the “pro-Israel lobby,” Andrew
    Sullivan works his way toward the crucial understanding of the
    Israel lobby’s role in nullifying American policy in
    Israel/Palestine. There is simply no way to explain the policy
    nullification, with respect to settlements, over 7 or 8 US
    presidencies, without talking about a special interest. And you
    cannot then talk about the special interest without talking about
    its lopsided size in the American political process.
    No one in Washington – apart from a few Likudniks and Palinite
    end-timers – actually supports more settlements or any
    settlements in the West Bank. At the same time, Washington
    exercizes a UN veto to protect Israel from international law,
    funnels a vast amount of foreign and military aid to the country,
    helped finance the pulverization of Gaza last year, provides
    absurd international cover for Israel’s 150 nukes, has worked
    tirelessly to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear capacity, and on
    and on.
    In return? Fuck you, Obama. To which the overwhelming
    response in Washington is: Obama screwed up.
    Even Haaretz is franker about this process than our media:
    “[T]he [Obama] administration will avoid taking any position that
    suggests disagreement with Israel, because of the support that
    Israel enjoys among both parties in Congress.” Why? One must
    talk about money, media, and religious belief.”
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/03/t
    he-fundamentalists-of-israel.html#more

    Reply

  7. questions says:

    WigWag, 9:20 post took the words right out of my, umm, fingertips.
    Thanks.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “No matter what the issue is, with some people we somehow always end up in the same place. But heaven forbid we call that kind of monomaniacal fixation by its proper name”
    Gee, I suppose Birnbaum would have us believe Turkey’s relationship with Israel has nothing to do with this vote.
    Nothing to see here, move on, folks.
    Bullshit. If you are debating that section of the world, no matter what nation, Israel MUST be part of the debate. And frankly, its rarely a positive part.

    Reply

  9. WigWag says:

    “Turkey could have been condemned any time in the last hundred years. The moral grounds have not changed… How else can you explain Berman’s target and his timing?” (JohnH)
    Actually the same House Committee voted to condemn the Armenian Genocide in 2000, 2005 and 2007 before voting to do so again this past week. Of course, when the Committee took its vote each of those past three times, Israel and Turkey were closely allied.
    “Why else would you put a memorial to a non-American event on the Mall and severely restrict its focus?” (JohnH)
    You have to be especially morally obtuse to object to a museum that commemorates the murder of 6 million people because they were Jewish, but what else can be expected of JohnH? I suppose that he will object to the Armenian Genocide museum opening next year in Washington, D.C. on the same grounds.
    And one thing we know for sure is that on his next trip to Washington, JohnH won’t be visiting the European wings of the Corcoran, the National Gallery or the Philips Collection. After all, it really is hard to understand why American Museums located in the center of our nation’s Capital and funded in whole or in part with public money would “restrict” whole wings to “non-American” art.
    On his Washington, D.C. excursion it’s also probably pretty doubtful that JohnH will be attending any concerts at the Kennedy Center. I know this is hard to believe, in fact it’s outrageous really, how often the Kennedy Center “restricts” its musical programs to music composed outside of the United States by non-American composers. What can be more absurd than that? What can they be thinking when they program Mozart and Beethoven far more often than Copeland and Glass. All Mozart programs; all Beethoven programs; all Hayden programs; how could this possibly happen at concert hall located on the banks of the Potomic and right next to the famous Watergate?
    What is happening to this country?

    Reply

  10. Carroll says:

    To me the Rwandan genocide has to be classed as the worst of the worst for sheer brutality…800,000 people in a 100 days, not shot or done away with quickly, but hacked to pieces and left to die.
    Instead of holocast museum we should have a US Hall of Shame for the genocides we could have stopped and didn’t like the one in Rwandan.
    Slaughter sounds a worse word to me than genocide so maybe we should have a slaughter museum.
    http://www.kigalimemorialcentre.org/old/index.html
    The Kigali Memorial Centre was opened on the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004. The Centre is built on a site where over 250,000 people are buried. These graves are a clear reminder of the cost of ignorance.
    The Centre is a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide and serves as a place for people to grieve those they lost
    “I lay down again among the dead bodies. It was three days after the killings, so the bodies stank. The Interahamwe would pass by without entering the room, and dogs would come to eat the bodies. I lived there for 43 days . . ”

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    Never been to the Holocaust Museum, so I just visited by net teleport.
    Interesting, but after also looking up how much it cost taxpayers ..40 + million a year which is about 70% of the total the Museum cost yearly, I don’t see the value in that large a display.
    Putting the holocaust into some portion of a Museum for World War II would have been more appropriate for the US. Actually the better place for something like this would be the UN or the ICC headquarters.
    Evidently the Holocaust museum idea has been ‘franchised’ though, because I saw that there are holocaust museums in many states, Fla. Texas, Illinois. I don’t know if all those are Federal or State tax or privately supported.
    But the funding, at least for the one in DC comes out of several agencies now instead of just one because Clinton turned the Museum into ‘Federal’ Agency for allocation purposes.
    I do remember now that some time ago I read the US was funding some new overseas Holocaust Museum also but can’t remember which country, I will look it up later. There is some small gov agency that funds caretaking of Jewish graves and cemeteries overseas but I can’t remember the name of that either right now…something cultural or to with foreign culture.
    I think it was the Center for Pubic Integrity, but might have been a different public interest org, where I once read thu the entire list of every expenditure in the US budget.
    Everyone in the country should have to read the line by line budget every year.
    Or maybe not, cause if the majority ever saw the crazy stuff in it, all that would be left of Washington today would be a dusting of ashes.

    Reply

  12. JohnH says:

    Larry, the problem is indeed calling something by its proper name–cynical use of tragic events for political gain.
    Turkey could have been condemned any time in the last hundred years. The moral grounds have not changed. But Berman chose a specific moment in time–when Turkey is critical of Israeli behavior. And, worse, when the US needs Turkey’s UNSC vote. Coincidence? Hardly. Cold, cynical calculation.
    Berman could also have chosen to sponsor a resolution condemning the million or so deaths caused by the US occupation of the Philippines, roughly contemporaneous with the Armenian genocide. Or he could have chosen to sponsor a resolution condemning the million or so deaths presided over by the US in Iraq.
    But no, Berman’s actions are all about Israel and warping US foreign policy to respond to Israel’s need to punish Turkey for its recent criticism of Israel. How else can you explain Berman’s target and his timing?
    Which gets us back to THE Holocaust Museum. Sure, superficially it’s about THE Holocaust. But placing it prominently on the mall in Washington, DC makes it easy to charge cynical use THE Holocaust to benefit descendants of some of its victims. Why else would you put a memorial to a non-American event on the Mall and severely restrict its focus?

    Reply

  13. larry birnbaum says:

    No matter what the issue is, with some people we somehow always end up in the same place. But heaven forbid we call that kind of monomaniacal fixation by its proper name.
    Or that we ask what it is about this blog that attracts these people… or why it is that our host never says anything about their little problem.

    Reply

  14. chumanist says:

    The resolution has been a US move beyond futuristic realism.

    Reply

  15. Carroll says:

    It’s ridiculous to have a Jewish holocaust museum in the US. It should be in Germany or Poland or Israel.
    We should have a museum about black slavery if anything.
    We do as a nation ‘owe’ blacks for slavery + years of no civil rights, but we had nothing to do with the Jews holocaust, so it’s really inappropiate to have a jewish thing and not a museum about American slavery.

    Reply

  16. samuelburke says:

    Ron Paul: Neutrality Is the Only Decent Policy
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/52555.html

    Reply

  17. JohnH says:

    Yes, as Wigwag said, “genocide is precisely what Hitler did to the Jews, it’s precisely what the Turks did to the Armenians. It’s also what Muslims in Sudan are trying to do to Christian and animist black Africans. It’s also what the Hutu tried to do to the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.”
    Gypsies were also targeted for extermination by Hitler.
    But only one group deserves special treatment in THE Holocaust Museum…

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gee, I wonder if the museum will include Palestinians, after these monsters in Israel finish incinerating the bulk of them?
    Its quite coincidental this vote comes right on the heels of Turkey’s courageous stand on the Goldstone Report, eh?

    Reply

  19. WigWag says:

    You have obviously not visited the museum as I have JohnH. If you decide to go, you will see an exhibit referring to the murdered Poles and Gypsies (and homosexuals) very near the entrance. But as everyone knows, the main group targeted for extermination by the Germans was European Jews.
    By the time the War ended and the Nazis were defeated, millions of Poles and Gypsies were dead but many millions more remained. The same is true for Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs and several other ethnic, religious and linguistic groups.
    The presence of Jews in Europe was largely extinguished. What had once been a thriving continent- wide community of millions was reduced to a community of tens of thousands. The Jews also had to confront the fact that not only had they been victimized by the Nazis but that they had also been victimized by their German, Austrian, French, Slovakian, Polish, Hungarian, Serbian, Croatian and Scandinavian neighbors.
    European anti-Semitism, which had existed for a thousand years and was in part rooted in Christianity itself, had given way to the final solution. Hitler had alot of enemies, JohnH; wherever the Nazis went, death and destruction followed. You’re right; he killed nationals of many countries belonging to the Allied powers and he targeted gypsies and homosexuals as well. When you visit the Holocaust Museum you’ll learn all about this history. Frankly I’m shocked that you don’t know it already.
    But you will also learn that there was one ethnic group that Hitler decided to wipe off the face of Europe. If you’ve read Mein Kampf, JohnH, you certainly understand that this is a decision that Hitler made early on in his career. The one group targeted for complete extermination was the Jews.
    So let me get it straight JohnH; do you think the Holocaust was a myth? Or do you think that Hitler didn’t specially target the Jews for extermination beyond all other groups? Or do you think it doesn’t matter that Hitler targeted the Jews for extinction beyond all other groups? Or do you think that there’s something inappropriate about a museum dedicated to the memory of 6 million dead Jews?
    And when you finish explaining that JohnH, maybe you can tell us whether you think the Turks are guilty of genocide against 1.5 million Armenians. Or do you think that is a myth too?
    What about Darfur, JohnH; do you think that was a genocide or do you agree with Prime Minister Erdogan that “Muslims don’t commit genocide.” What about Rwanda, JohnH, was that a genocide or do black Africans not matter in your world? You’ve told us that you don’t believe in “memorializing a single group’s victimization.” Does that extend to the making of a movie like Hotel Rwanda or only to the existence of museums about atrocities directed against Armenians or Jews?
    Surely you agree that what happened to Native Americans was a genocide and that what happened to African slaves was almost as bad; or are those mass murders so outside your area of political interest that you are disinterested in those as well? Does your objection to “memorializing a single group’s victimization” extend to Museums that exist in several countries dedicated to memorializing the horror of African slavery? Or do you object to the U.S. Slavery Museum that is going to be built on the Mall in Washington, D.C. or to single exhibits at Museums all over the United States dedicated to discussing the horror of enslaving African Americans? After all, those exhibits are all about memorializing the victimization of a single group; African Americans.
    War and the violence, destruction and death that goes with it JohnH, are not the same as genocide; most decent people consider genocide particularly heinous. Equating the death and destruction inherent in all wars throughout human history with genocide is not only morally obtuse, it’s simple-minded. Genocide is mass murder on an almost unthinkable scale with the intent of wiping out a specific group.
    That’s precisely what Hitler did to the Jews, JohnH and it’s precisely what the Turks did to the Armenians. It’s also what Muslims in Sudan are trying to do to Christian and animist black Africans. It’s also what the Hutu tried to do to the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994.
    Let me recommend a trip to the Holocaust Museum; you obviously desperately need it. But I have an even better idea; the Armenian Genocide Museum is only going to be a short walk from the Holocaust Museum. It opens next year. Plan your trip to Washington, D.C. then and you’ll be able to see both.
    My guess is that when you do, even you will understand why the genocide against the Jews justifies a museum to commemorate the atrocity and why the Turkish genocide against the Armenians is not the myth you pretend it is.

    Reply

  20. larry birnbaum says:

    Gosh, how did we get on THIS topic???

    Reply

  21. JohnH says:

    The problem as I see it is “special people” or “exceptionalism.” Instead of memorializing a single groups victimization, I would much rather see the Holocaust Museum used to highlight the dangers of making some “ubermenschen” while making others “untermenschen.” Such distinctions lead all too often to genocides, nakbas, brutal occupations, slavery, caste systems and apartheid. Restricting the museum to one group’s experience at a particular moment in time does little to educate the public about the broader issues and hopefully prevent similar tragedies from happening to other groups at current and future moments in history.

    Reply

  22. DonS says:

    John, when we were in Krakow about 5-6 years ago for the wedding of a niece to a Pole I became very aware of the 3 + million of non Jewish Poles who were exterminated. A certain residual resentment continues. No one has turned such tragedy into an industry and political deus ex machine like the Jews, or should I say the zionists.
    I don’t underestimate the poignancy of even one martyred soul. Of any nationality and religion

    Reply

  23. JohnH says:

    Funny, Wigwag. I looked through the site’s web pages. None of the on-site exhibitions or online exhibitions are about the millions of Poles and Gypsies killed during the Holocaust.
    If “the museums main purpose is to commemorate and memorialize the victims of the Shoah,” why not call it the US JEWISH Holocaust museum? Perhaps because Poles and Gypsies weren’t “special people?”

    Reply

  24. WigWag says:

    Anyone who has ever been to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. knows that there are permanent exhibits with information pertinent to the Armenian Genocide and that the Museum invites scholars, authors and artists to make presentations related to a variety of different genocides of recent vintage including the genocides against Bosnian Muslims, Rwandans, Cambodians and others.
    In addition, the museum runs a speakers bureau that allows victims of several different genocides of recent vintage to address public audiences and an exhibit that provides eye witness testimony about several different genocides. Of course, the Armenian Genocide is not included in either of these exhibits because there are no victims of a genocide that occurred 95 years ago still alive.
    Of course, the museums main purpose is to commemorate and memorialize the victims of the Shoah. Surely JohnH thinks the 6 million victims of the Nazis are at least entitled to that.
    By the way, a Museum dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide is currently being constructed in Washington. It’s located two blocks from the White House, walking distance from the Smithsonian Institution, and down the street from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is being funded with both public support allocated by Congress and private funds. It is scheduled to open in 2011.
    In case Sweetness, JohnH, Ben Katcher or anyone else is interested or would like to make a contribution, here’s the link,
    http://www.armeniangenocidemuseum.org/

    Reply

  25. JohnH says:

    Sweetness, I looked, too. Some speakers listed but nothing permanently on display. Are some genocides are more equal than others?

    Reply

  26. Sweetness says:

    JohnH, I was wondering the same thing. So I took a look.
    Here are some Armenian links from the Museum’s site:
    http://www.ushmm.org/shared/search/searchresults.php?
    cx=008795841384874293445:jtbtbquu4k8&sa=Search&cof=FORI
    D%3A11&q=Armenians

    Reply

  27. JohnH says:

    I wonder if Israel’s new found concern for the Armenian genocide will finally translate into a permanent place for Armenians in the heretofore Jews only US Holocaust Museum.

    Reply

  28. charlie says:

    Dear wigwag:
    In a strange way we are agreeing. Turkey is playing us for fools.
    We are giving them a chance to extract something out of us for a
    meaningless piece of paper.
    This isn’t about a sense of shame. I don’t have any about the
    Indians. There are more of them now than there where we got here.
    This is about mock-outrage by a major ally where less than 10% of
    the population looks at us favorably anyway.
    Want to make the Turks like us? Tell those racist Greeks in Cyprus
    to shut up and do a deal. Or stop supporting those terrorists
    Kurds.

    Reply

  29. WigWag says:

    “The Turks did indeed carry out genocide against the Armenians but in the sake of fairness I’d now like to see a vote in the Turkish parliament, and other parliaments around the world, as to whether the United States carried out genocide against the indigenous peoples during the conquest of the national territory.” (Charles T. Ward)
    There is simply no question that the early European settlers in North America eradicated many of the Native people that they met and that their children, grandchildren and great grand children escalated the pogroms against the Native Americans into a full scale genocide.
    While African American slavery was not exactly a genocide, it was almost as horrible. Certainly it was far worse than the run of the mill expulsions and exiles that have been a ubiquitous feature of human history. The perpetrators of African American slavery were European, American and African.
    But there are some differences between what happened to the Armenians and what happened to the Native Americans or what happened to African slaves.
    For one, it is not against the law for me or anyone else to call what happened to Native Americans genocide. I can call it that on this blog and I can stand on the street corner in any American city and accuse the United States of genocide. If I choose to do that, the chances that I will be prosecuted for “denigrating the United States.” I am also unlikely to be physically attacked by an angry mob if I accuse the United States of genocide against Native Americans; the same can’t be said of Turkey and the Armenians.
    In terms of African American slavery, President Clinton apologized for it and virtually every American knows how profoundly wrong slavery was and what a stain it is on American history; the same can’t be said for the genocide denying Turks. I’d like to see the United States go further; I’d favor reparation payments for those who can trace their lineage to African American slaves. While that’s unlikely to happen any time soon if ever, the United States has come to terms with slavery far more assertively than the Turks have come to terms with what they did to the Armenians.
    By thw way, Charles, if Turkey’s legislature passed a resolution describing what the American Government did to Native Americans as genocide, it is highly doubtful that the United States would withdraw its ambassador for consultations.
    The United States may not have alot of shame, but it clearly has alot more than the Turks.

    Reply

  30. Charles T Ward says:

    The Turks did indeed carry out genocide against the Armenians but in the sake of fairness I’d now like to see a vote in the Turkish parliament, and other parliaments around the world, as to whether the United States carried out genocide against the indigenous peoples during the conquest of the national territory.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    The fact that there are about 90 American-made tactical nuclear weapons in Turkey, part of the NATO arsenal, is interesting. Although I read that Turkey doesn’t the kind of aircraft to use them. But I am sure there is someone out there willing to give them the aricraft in the event.
    If Turkey ever got really pissed it would be easy for them to over run the US base there.
    And everyone is worried about not yet existing nukes in Iran. I can’t makes the slightest bit of sense out of US policy.
    The thing I don’t believe is that Berman or others in congress voted for the genocide resolution because they are morally upstanding fellows out to right a 95 year old wrong.
    I think JohnH is right…throw shit against the wall, throw more shit against the wall..until enough of it sticks to get you your Iran war.

    Reply

  32. WigWag says:

    One point that I have not seem commented on is the role in all of this that Samantha Power might have played.
    During the presidential campaign Power was a key foreign policy advisor to the relatively unschooled candidate. Her husband, Cass Sunstein is a long time friend of Obama’s and was also an important advisor. Power famously left the campaign after she referred to Hillary Clinton as a “monster”; but after the election all was forgiven. First Power served on the State Department transition team and then she took a position in the National Security Council.
    During her time at Harvard, Power was famous for advocating the importance of human rights issues when setting foreign policy priorities. Most recently she wrote a biography of Sergio Viera de Mello entitled: “Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World.”
    Prior to that, she wrote a book about genocide called “A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide.”
    In that book, this key figure in the Obama Administration specifically called the mass murder of Armenians by the Turks in 1915 a genocide; the whole point of her book was to criticize American indifference to genocide from the time of the Armenian massacre up to the time of the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda. The book was a big hit in the academic world and with the public; it won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for “General Non-Fiction.”
    Is their any doubt that Power was a key figure weighing in from the sidelines telling Obama and Clinton that they simply must not prevent the resolution from passing?
    Given the views expressed in her book, is there any way she could have continued to serve in an Administration that aligned itself with the Armenian Genocide deniers?

    Reply

  33. DakotabornKansan says:

    So, Obama breaks yet another campaign promise. And our politicians and government snuff out the voices of 1.5 million innocent victims of the Armenian genocide.
    “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” – Adolph Hitler, quoted in Resolution 252.
    Apparently, not the U.S. government.

    Reply

  34. DonS says:

    “The decision to acquiesce to the vote appeared to be motivated by politics and the administration’s desire to keep Obama’s campaign promise that he would recognize the Armenian genocide.” (Ben)
    This make little or no sense in light of the WH pronouncement as soon as the vote was taken that Obama would work against the adoption of the resolution.
    ******************
    Wigwag, I know your convinced that Turkey should fess up, and maybe they should. However, why now, with all the ME tension, is it so important? Especially when Turkey and Armenia were on their way to establish a joint commission of investigation hopefully with the aim of settling the ‘facts’, but equally or more importantly in moving on to better relations.
    I also expect you to be acknowledging the brutality of the Israeli invasion of Gaza last January since you are foursquare for doing and saying the factually right thing when it comes to human rights abuses.

    Reply

  35. JohnH says:

    Contrary to what Ben says, the fallout may well be very concrete, immediate any easy to measure. It may come in terms of a Turkish vote in abstention or against Iran sanctions in the UNSC.
    IMHO the Armenian resolution was intended by Berman to come at a critical juncture to prevent the imposition of effective sanctions against Iran. That would put Obama into the trap that Likudniks have been building for him, forcing a decision on the only two choices left–war or being cast as Neville Chamberlain II.
    Obama needs to show leadership and stop drifting. Every time he lets policies happen, he gets presented with terrible choices. In this case, he could have shown more leadership in pursuing negotiations with Iran. Instead he’ll get eaten by the Israeli lobby and their neocon allies.

    Reply

  36. charlie says:

    Let me state a couple things: I hate Greeks, and I like Turks. I
    also don’t like Armenians.
    That being said, watching proto-Turkey lobbyists like Katcher
    makes me sick. So we do something to piss off the Turks. I
    think invading Iraq and supporting an independent Kurdistan did
    far more damage to our public image.
    I expect smart analysis here. A smarter analysis would be “since
    US-Turkish relations are at a nadir, this might the best time to
    just swallow the pill and admit the Ottoman Empire did some
    bad things.” This isn’t “realists” vs. “disapora”; it is politicians
    vs. wanks, and in this case the politicians are correct. Very few
    americans care about these things, and the ones who do care
    very much.
    The only losers here are a few former Congressman who made a
    living off of the Turkish taxpayer fighting this issue every year.

    Reply

  37. WigWag says:

    “Rather, the effect will be broader and more difficult to measure. Votes of this kind will likely strengthen anti-American elements within the Turkish political system and make it more difficult for the Turkish government to undertake unpopular decisions in support of American objectives.”(Ben Katcher)
    Perhaps Ben would like to inform us of what unpopular decisions in support of American objectives the Erdogan Government has shown any inclination to support.
    Katcher must have woken up this morning and decided to take a silly pill. After all, he said this,
    “The decision to acquiesce to the vote appeared to be motivated by politics and the administration’s desire to keep Obama’s campaign promise that he would recognize the Armenian genocide.”
    Oh my goodness, the President decided to keep a campaign promise; surely he should be nailed to a stake for that! And the President decided to tell the truth about the Armenian Genocide. No wonder the realists are outraged; after all truth telling can’t possibly be permitted. Let’s remember that the favorite modern president of the “realists” was Richard Nixon.
    Ben hasn’t told us whether or not he thinks the Turks are actually guilty of genocide; perhaps like his brethren, the idea that Turks might have committed mass murder simply doesn’t strike him as pertinent. Schooled at the knee of Flynt Leverett in the crack cocaine school of realism, Katcher may just think that American opposition to genocide isn’t a moral responsibility but merely a political chit to be bartered away to the highest bidder.
    By the way, other nations that have already passed resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide at one time or another include: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Lebanon, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela.

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  38. DrPangloss says:

    The 2nd US administration in a row that is incompetent or, in this
    case, a purposeful ploy to alienate Turkey. Not too much to choose
    from between these two alternatives. I’ll assume for now, after all
    the evidence is really building up, that Obama et al are really the
    gang that can’t shoot straight. Can you ask a POTHUS to resign
    because they don’t seem interested in the work, other than
    attending galas, zipping around in AF1, and otherwise enjoying the
    life of a celebrity.

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  39. David Mercanus says:

    I’m sympathetic to this analysis. Yet this will also hopefully move the ball at least a little on getting the world to fully and publicly recognize that this was a genocide.
    I am continually resigned, yet disgusted, that diplomacy forces us to play this game and aid in the denial of a historic crime perpetrated by Turkey. Turkey would be better off acknowledging this, they should look to Germany and South Africa as models.

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