By Skeptik Sinikian
The other day I was driving down Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks when I saw a bumper sticker on a car that said "Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican." That bumper sticker pretty much sums up how I feel this week after reading the joint statement from Speaker–Majority Leader and Whip of the House of Representatives on the Schiff Amendment regarding the Genocide. I’m too angry and tired to do a recap of the last week’s events regarding the Genocide resolution. I suggest that all the oblivious cave dwellers reading this column spend a few seconds on the Asbarez website and catch up to the rest of us. Don’t worry. We won’t go anywhere. We’ll wait for you.
OK–now that you’re back–we can move on. Wasn’t that one of the worst statemen’s made by any elected official pertaining to Armenia’s? After I read it–I had that emotionally wrecked and numb look on my face like Michael Corleone when he found out that Fredo had set up their brother Sonnie to be killed in the second Godfather movie. I just held the printout of the email my friend gave me and stared at it for what seemed like a full hour. The words were so harsh–I wasn’t able to distinguish whether this malarkey was a dream or reality. Never in my life did I think that the Republican leadership of Congress would so blatantly slap Armenian-Americans in the face. They didn’t just insult us as Americans–but also spat on us as voters–and in a year when their fearless leader in the White House can use ever last vote that his friends can muster up. Don’t the Republicans realize that at the rate President Bush is going–he’ll need a relative as Governor in every state–if he’s going to pull-off a victory this November? He needs every vote he can get.
I let the statement fall from my hands–stared at my friend–and coldly said–"There is no way in hell that I will vote for any Republican this November." My friend–who is a Republican but can’t explain why–looked at me and responded. "You know this is all just a political game. The only reason they [Democrats] introduced this amendment is to put the Republicans in a tough spot with Turkey–especially in an election year!"
I don’t know what was more sad. His explanation–or the fact that he actually believed it. Here’s what upsets me and should upset any Armenian American who is a registered Republican. In Speaker Hastert’s statement there is the obligatory mention of refusing to raise the genocide as an issue–out of fear of offending Turkey as an important NATO ally. That would make some sense only if Turkey actually WAS an ally instead of a backstabbing–barbaric–fair weather friend who’s idea of loyalty means extorting 32 billion dollars from American tax payers. That’s almost twice what we spend every year fighting the war on drugs in this country.
So what if this amendment was a Democratic–Republican–Green–Pink or whatever kind of political game. Good for whoever decided to play it. I think Armenia’s should push for more in election years–otherwise what’s the whole point of voting? And more important–the genocide issue shouldn’t be a political football in anyone’s hands. It’s a political no-brainer–especially since Turkey has been screwing with us time and again over the course of the last three years. I challenge Hastert and DeLay to name me one positive–proactive thing that Turkey has done since 9/11. JUST ONE!
What Speaker Hastert–Majority Leader DeLay–and Majority Whip Blunt should do is stop for just one second–take a real close look at Turkey–and decide whether they want to give any more money or respect to this country.
Even the Israeli have beef with Turkey now. The strategic partnership has become strained since Turkey refused to sell water to Israel–and began publicly criticizing the construction of the wall around the Palestinian territories. The only reason Turkey is even criticizing Israel over its treatment of its Palestinian population is because its: a) trying hard not to further offend any number of Muslim nations that already hate Turkey–and b) trying to curry favor with Europe which it is trying desperately to join.
I mean c’mon people–it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an Ivy League educated psychiatrist to see the game Turkey is playing here.
I’m tired of our members of Congress and the Republican leadership playing hardball with everyone around the globe and at home–except for Turkey. Does Turkey have some sort of mental problem we should all be aware of and treat it differently because it’s special? I say forget Turkey and forget the Republicans. From here on out–the gloves need to come off and the showdown is November 2nd.
If there are any Armenia’s American Republicans left out there with a shred of dignity and self respect–they would put their trust funds where their mouths are (be sure to remove the silver spoon first) and call up these clowns who call themselves Leaders and give them a piece of their mind.
In a letter written in 1891–the immortal Mark Twain described Members of Congress as "the smallest minds and the selfishest souls and the cowardliest hearts that God makes." After reading the joint statement from the Republican Leadership in the House–I’m not sure even God wants to take credit for this group of clowns.
I just wrote an entire column and I still can’t believe what I read. Where have you gone Senator Bob Dole? The Republican Party needs your moral clarity–poise–and honesty now more than ever. We need our Republican friends who believe in what’s right to stand up. But until they do folks–never let them vote Republican again–until we have made out point loud and clear.
Visit the ANCA website if you’re mad as hell and want to share your thoughts with our Congressional Leaders. www.anca.org.
Skeptik Sinikian refuses to divulge his party registration but assures his readers that this week’s diatribe was in no way–shape–or form motivated by his personal–non-Armenian political views. He encourages everyone to write to Congress and protest–and copy their letters to him at [email protected]