Thursday, October 11, 2007

George Bush, Holocaust Denier

From Gates of Vienna:

House Foreign Affairs Committee: Yes , It Was a Genocide

The Democrat-controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee has spurned the advances of the White House and voted to call the actions of the Ottoman Turks against the Armenian minority in 1915 a genocide.

For the Democrats, presumably, it was more than enough that President Bush was against the measure — then they knew they must be for it.

Sometimes people do the right things for the wrong reasons. According to the AP:

A U.S. congressional panel defied President Bush on Wednesday and approved a measure that he said would damage U.S. goals in the Middle East.

The measure that would recognize the World War I-era killings of Armenians as a genocide had been strongly opposed by Turkey, a key NATO ally that has supported U.S. efforts in Iraq.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s 27-21 vote now sends the measure to the House floor — unless the Democratic leadership reverses course and heeds Bush’s warnings.

At issue is the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, says the toll has been inflated and insists that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.

Up until now, President Bush has been rather Wilsonian in his conduct of foreign policy, but he is downright Kissingerian on this issue. The requirements of statecraft tell him that he must ignore the mass slaughter of all those Armenians — for the greater public good, of course.

Bush and other senior officials had made a last-minute push to persuade lawmakers on the Foreign Affairs Committee to reject the measure.

“Its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror,” Bush said hours before the vote.

So holocaust-denial is OK sometimes, eh? What is this, Situation Ethics?

If King Abdullah wants us to withdraw our recognition of the Shoah in return for his support of the “War on Terror”, will we do that, too?

The Foreign Affairs Committee’s Chairman, Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., warned of the potential fallout if the proposal passed. Lantos, a Hungarian-born survivor of the Holocaust, supported a similar resolution two years ago.

“We have to weigh the desire to express our solidarity with the Armenian people … against the risk that it could cause young men and women in the uniform of the United States armed services to pay an even heavier price than they are currently paying,” Lantos said.

Replace “Armenian” with “Jewish” in that declaration. How does it sound then?

I don’t know the ins and outs of Armenian-Jewish relations, but this is interesting:
- - - - - - - - -
The issue flared in Massachusetts a few months ago. A local Anti-Defamation League leader was fired after saying he agreed the killings were genocide. Days later, the ADL reversed its stance, saying the killings were “tantamount to genocide.” The man was rehired.

Critics had questioned how a group dedicated to remembering Holocaust victims could be credible without recognizing the Armenian killings as genocide.

It’s extortion time again with the Turks:

In the fight over the congressional resolution, Turkey raised the possibility of impeding logistical and other U.S. military traffic now using Turkish airspace.

Is a protection racket really appropriate behavior from an “ally”?

Condi is pulling out all the stops:

Earlier, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates conveyed their concerns.

Passing the measure “at this time would be very problematic for everything we are trying to do in the Middle East,” Rice told reporters at the White House.

One tragedy gets a museum on the national mall, the other, brushed off for political expediency; the 120 million or so people killed by communists? That's not important, the fact that Joeseph McCarthy tried to reveal them is - and that is the great human tragedy, at least this is the consenus of our new elite. Wow, the sixties revolution brought about some great changes, didn't it? You just had to be one of those animals that were more equal than others.

Bush might have argued it was politically foolish to make such a declaration and it appears, it has alienated one of our last remaining allies in the region, Turkey. But could we imagine him vetoing the dozen or so holocaust resolutions too appease the sensibilities of, say Germany? In any even it illustrates that our victim based, multi cultural experiment is falling apart - and likewise and related our power in the middle east.

My solution: the government should not be in the business of passing such resolutions to begin with - or building museums or propping up any past historical events as propaganda to carry out policy.

The Armenians who lobbied probably knew the consequences, but they probably also reconize the extraordinary benefits being a victim in this country bestows.

On that note:

New book reopens old arguments about slave raids on Europe

US scholar claims more than 1m people were captured by African pirates
Rory Carroll, Africa correspondent
Thursday March 11, 2004
The Guardian
North African pirates abducted and enslaved more than 1 million Europeans between 1530 and 1780 in a series of raids which depopulated coastal towns from Sicily to Cornwall, according to new research.

Wow, can I jump to the head of the queue for government hand outs, art grants, museums, and combined with me being a Christian and therefore a victim of Communist persecution, can Hollywood please oblige and make a dozen or so movies about our suffering? To date, I haven't counted one made.

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