Pressing forward to a resolution that makes life difficult for American and Turkish diplomats, Nancy Pelosi(D-CA) stated she was ready to move the House toward a vote on Armenian genocide. The issue is a sensitive one in Turkey which wasn't even a state when the Armenian actions occurred. The House action was, as Red State put it so succinctly, "the strange resolution, out-of-the-blue, on the Young Turks killing the Armenians, 1915-1917."
The resolution, which accomplishes nothing outside of straining US-Turkish relations, labels the death of more than a million Armenians during the first World War as genocide. This from the party which has unceasingly complained that President Bush has isolated the U.S. from its allies. From CNN:
"This resolution is one that is consistent with what our government has always said about ... what happened at that time," Pelosi said on ABC's "This Week."A key ally is angered for no reason other than political pandering. The anti-war Left and Democrats would make defending vital U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf much more difficult with passage of the resolution.
When asked about criticism that it could harm relations with Turkey -- a key ally in the war in Iraq and a fellow member of NATO -- Pelosi said, "There's never been a good time," adding that it is important to pass the resolution now "because many of the survivors are very old."
"When I came to Congress 20 years ago, it wasn't the right time because of the Soviet Union. Then that fell, and then it wasn't the right time because of the Gulf War One. And then it wasn't the right time because of overflights of Iraq. And now it's not the right time because of Gulf War Two.
The resolution has strained U.S. relations with Turkey and drawn criticism from the Bush administration.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY)reacted to House grand-standing.
Speaking later on ABC's "This Week," McConnell denounced the House committee's vote -- despite agreeing with the assertion that the killings amounted to genocide.
"I think it's a really bad idea for the Congress to be condemning what happened 100 years ago," the Kentucky Republican said Sunday. "We all know it happened. There's a genocide museum, actually, in Armenia to commemorate what happened.
"But I don't think the Congress passing this resolution is a good idea at any point. But particularly not a good idea when Turkey is cooperating with us in many ways, which ensures greater safety for our soldiers."
As Jed Babbin puts it:
The Democrat leadership could write and pass legislation insisting the UN intervene to save the living instead of using the memory of the dead to score political points. In neither case should we intervene militarily. But the lack of concern for ongoing mass murder proves the Democrats’ only purpose is to enrage the Turkish government and end their cooperation on Iraq.What Pelosi has said is inane. As far as "many of the survivors being old": they'd have to be. The youngest of any survivors would be near 90-years-old. The incidents occurred when the Ottoman Empire ruled the area, before a secular modern Turkey came into being in 1922-3.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) told me, “We are a nation at war, and our first concern must always be the brave men and women of our armed forces, who I believe are done a great disservice by this symbolic House vote. This is just one more example of Democrats in the House being either oblivious or indifferent to the welfare of American forces serving in harm’s way.”
No one is arguing that Armenians didn't die; they did, as well as Turks, too. The animosity in that region goes back centuries. What's at dispute is what good is accomplished with the House resolution, its timing and the political calculus of the Democrats in promoting it at this juncture.
If the resolution passes,the House Democrats will be offering US vital interests something other than some "Turkish Delight".
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