When Is Mass Ethnic Slaughter Not Genocide? When An Ally Of America Does It. Or Did It.

A House committee yesterday approved a toothless resolution calling what the Ottoman Turks did to a million or so Armenians between 1914 and 1920 genocide.

The modern Turks, who let the US use their territory to slaughter Iraqis, don’t like that.

Republicans in the United States don’t like it either. That’s understandable, since they are engaged in killing as many Iraqis and Afghanis as the troops they send there can manage without appearing rude.

And White House Chief Psycho doesn’t like calling a genocide a genocide either. In fact he said in the Globe today:

“We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the Armenian people,” Bush told reporters on the White House lawn hours before the vote. “This resolution is not the right response to these mass killings.”

What would be the right response, George? Ignore it? Hold a Republican fundraiser? Invite a couple of Armenians to the ranch? Or Turks – we can be pretty sure you don’t know the difference and don’t really give a damn. Hell, even Reagan, that other delusional headcase the Republicans worship, called it genocide.

But there’s another Republican who used the G word.

“We will not forgive this genocide. But I cannot support this resolution at this time,” said Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, citing US troops in Iraq who depend on Turkish supply lines. “This is not the time for this nation to speak on this dark chapter of history.”

Why not? And if not now, when? You people have buried this thing for twenty-five years in Congress. And now you’re afraid that Turkey will get mad if you tell the truth and that the Turks will mess up the neatly laid plans of the psychotic Republicans who brought us the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, with deaths going on a million, and causing massive dislocations of ethnic people.

So, what’s the big beef?

A million or more Armenian civilians were killed. Turks killed them. The Turks now claim that no one can say what happened because there was war and chaos.

Maybe that would hold up if a million civilians of a dozen ethnic or national cultures died. War and chaos do that. But when a million or more of a single ethnic group are killed by another ethnic group, that requires intent and deliberation. It’s called genocide.

Modern Turks are so sensitive that they even throw people into jail, after a civilized trial of course, for speaking ill of their country. Offends their honor or some dumbass thing.

So they really don’t like being offended by anyone accusing their ancestors of genocide. “It’s not our fault. Those people were just so stupid that they let war and chaos kill them.” That just about sums up the official line.

And they’ll find support for that sort of irresponsibility, for blaming the victim, right here in the good old United States (which, it might be noted, has filthy bloody hands of its own, gained from the deliberate destruction of indigenous Indians).

US officials have said that they do not dispute the significance of the mass killings, but that it is not in American interests to risk angering Turkey by declaring the slaughter genocide, an internationally recognized term that would bring shame and dishonor to the nation. In a statement issued after yesterday’s vote, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the resolution does little to help Turks and Armenians bridge their differences, yet risks “grave harm to US-Turkish relations and to US interests in Europe and the Middle East.”

Translation: “We won’t be able to kill as many Iraqis and others as efficiently if we can’t use bases in Turkey.”

And Sean, Sean, Sean, the issue is not about Turks and Armenians bridging their differences. To say that simply demeans the deaths of the Armenians. That’s like saying the Jews and the Nazis should bridge their differences. Kiss and make up, eh Sean?

Turks murdered a million Armenians between 1914 and 1920. It was genocide. To deny it dishonors the Turkish people and the Turkish nation. Admit what your ancestors did. Take your lumps like a man and stop dodging and weaving and whining. Make peace with the past and with the Armenians. And move on.

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