Yes, Turkey is still on track. Not only is it confirming its culpability for, by continuing its denial of, the Genocide of 1915 through its massive efforts and expenditures against H. Res. 106, but it is also expanding its genocidal policy. And, this in at the last minute, Arat Dink and Serkis Seropyan were convicted after printing Hrant Dink’s claims that the killing of Armenia’s by Ottoman Turks from 1915 was genocide.
As if the roughly 1.5 million Kurds who perished in the 1920s and %u21830s weren’t enough, Turkey demonstrated its murderous policy towards Kurds by using the “opportunity”, presented by the Foreign Affairs Committee’s taking up the resolution, to attack Kurds outside its borders. Its incursion into Iraq is unconscionable, illegal, intolerable, and, unfortunately, far from the first time Turkey has done it. Most might not agree, but you see, Turkey had to “teach” the U.S. a lesson for daring to even discuss the Armenian Genocide. The U.S., even under the current warmongering administration, is opposed to Turkey attacking so-called PKK “terrorists”, i.e. Kurds who won’t tolerate Turkey’s murderous policies. So, what better opportunity to warn the U.S. of dire consequences– a full-scale action– if the resolution actually passes the full House and Senate. Such an incursion could ignite total instability and even multi-lateral war in the region. This is Turkey’s leverage.
After all this, we’re still supposed to believe Turkey is reforming in preparation to join the European Union. What a joke. If nothing else, between the denialist millions they’re spending and their bellicose actions, Turkish leaders once again are unwittingly demonstrating the old Armenian saying, “Sokheen caghtsruh chga”– there’s no such thing as a sweet onion– when it comes to consecutive Turkish governmen’s and their policies.
Who and why else would anyone rope in eight former U.S. secretaries to tout Turkey’s denialist line? Of course this doesn’t speak highly of the credibility of these ex-officials. They are of Steven Solarz’, Bob Livingston’s, and Dick Gephardt’s ilk. Pay them, wine-n-dine %u218em, and they’ll parrot any line you’d like. Disgusting.
But fairness requires also acknowledging Foreign Affairs Committee members, Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-SM), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Ron Klein (D-FL), Tom Lantos (D-CA), and Donald Mazullo (R-IL) who voted as humans of conscience even though they were not cosponsors of the resolution. Conversely Roy Blunt (R-MO), who replaced, last minute, Joann Davis who died on Saturday and had been expected to vote with us, is deserving of calumny for voting against the resolution, given whom he replaced. Similarly, Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), a cosponsor, turned on us. Worst still are cosponsors Ron Paul (R-TX) and Joe Wilson (R- SC) who did not vote. Remember, Ron is running for president! Isn’t there a saying about the hottest corners of hell being reserved for those who do nothing in the face of evil?
In light of all that’s gone on– Turkish threats/lobbying, our grass-roots mobilization, the many ups and downs, previous resolutions passed, Armenian independent statehood reestablished, more direct pronunciation of our overall goals– another phenomenon is particularly exasperating. Even some of our supporters take great pains to explain that this is not about the current Turkish government, rather its Ottoman predecessor. If anyone had any doubts that the current Turkish state is the legal heir to the Ottoman Empire, ergo equally responsible for the latter’s crimes, Turkey’s extreme efforts to squash any activity regarding the Genocide ought to allay them. What’s worse is when Vartan Vosganian, Armenia’s Foreign Minister, and for a while reputedly a presidential contender, denies that we have any territorial claims against Turkey. What’s the matter with these people? That’s like the sole survivor of a victimized family saying, yeah, I know so-and-so killed my family kin and stole all our land and possessions, but he shouldn’t go to jail and he can keep the property too. How likely is that scenario?
Let’s recognize that this is only a first step. Let’s remember that we’ve gotten farther than this in the process on previous occasions. Let’s not be lulled into any false sense of comfort or slack off. There’s a helluvalota work left to do. But, let’s also not fail to notice just how much effort Turkey put into this round so early in the process, a sign that their wall of denial is showing serious signs of stress. Let’s keep plugging on the long road to resolution passage and beyond.