Thursday, October 11, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

In response to the pending resolution on the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a 100 years ago, CNN reports that Turkey has recalled its US ambassador over genocide resolution.

Nothing major, but it is clearly intended as a signal that the Turkish government won’t react well if the resolution passes.

While I find the Turkish government’s response to be indefensible, the bottom line is that I continue to question the wisdom or necessity of the resolution at this time.

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23 Responses to “Turkey Sends a Signal”

  1. Political Mavens » The Armenia Resolution Says:

    [...] Update: Turkey reacts. [...]

  2. Jack Kelly Says:

    The original Kemalists had their chance to to repudiate the Osmanli caliphate & its Islam-sanctioned murders of Christians. As a matter of fact Kemalists have had 80+ plus years of chances to tell the truth, make amends & show the world a new leaf for the Turkish people has been turned.

    Instead, the so-called secularists & their heirs chose to cover up & lie. They chose to mask the nature of Islam. They chose to deny muslim murder & defend muslim murderers in face of all the evidence. Very well. The blood of millions is on their hands too.

    If the Turks’ feelings are offended by this late but just rebuke by Congress, good.

  3. Max Lybbert Says:

    Then why not rebuke Russia for Stalin’s manufactured famines when the country was the Soviet Union? Or pass a resolution rebuking the *Bosnian* who assassinated the archduke, starting World War I and causing terrible suffering? If it upsets the Russians or the Bosnians, well that’s their fault for being born in a country that has a bad history, isn’t it?

  4. David Says:

    We pass resolutions on the Holocaust all the time.

    Are you saying that is wrong?

  5. z Says:

    Honestly what good is this resolution? Can somebody name one turk that is alive that killed armenians in WWI?

    I have a coworker who is turkish and his grand grand father was asasinated by armenians during the conflict.

    Armenians were part of the otoman empire, wanted independence… they were crushed. This is always standard procedure in theese situations.
    What would happen if all the chinese in New Jersy would want to have independence?

    Lessons in history:
    what happened when the south wanted to have independence? the civil war, how many people have died?

    Why should we not pass a genocide resolution against the american people for the genocide against native americans, they were systematically killed and pushed out of their lands. This was similar with the nazist behaviour, …, lebensraum, untermenschen … Should we call that holocaust?

    There was so much injustice done in this world’s history, what good does it bring us creating resolutions with the only reason to perpetuate conflict, perpetuate hatred.

    I hate this nonsense … Stop spreading hatred

  6. Nihal Says:

    This resolution is ridiculous. I bet the 27 people who voted in favor of the bill do not even know where the heck Armenia is? Nor do they really care what happened to Armenians (or any other nation’s people) 80 years ago. The truth is that Armeanian Americans have a very well organized lobby groups in the U.S. especially in CA, MA and MI. The people who have voted for this resolution two days ago certainly have greatly benefited financially from these groups. It’s a matter of who pays more money to get what they want. It is not up to politicians to decide what happened in the past, rather it should be up to historians from neutral countries. Armenians have not accepted this offer by the Turks. Unfortunately, when people are presented with one side of the story, they do not research and try to learn the other side. There were killings on both sides during the WWI. What about the killed Turkish women and children after being raped by Armenians? How about the killed and burned Turkish people including women and children during the unrest? Do the people who voted for this resolution think about that? Probably not, because what they are interested in is their own interest…

  7. Max Lybbert Says:

    We pass resolutions on the Holocaust all the time.

    Are you saying that is wrong?

    I honestly did not know we passed these “all the time.” But if we do, then, yes, I think it’s generally pointless and counterproductive. And it is wrong to pass a pointless and counterproductive resolution just to spit in an ally’s eye. Especially when every surviving former Secretary of State has asked Pelosi not to bring the resolution to a vote *RIGHT* *NOW*.

    But I will clarify that I would find some resolutions pointless and others timely:

    “Be it resolved that while Americans of German descent are patriotic, Germans under the National Socialist Party (’Nazi party’) perpetrated untold horrors on the Jewish people from which the worldwide Jewish population has yet to recover.”

    That would be a pointless resolution. And it’s hard to call such a non-controversial stand “principled.” If Congress brought the resolution in order to somehow punish German companies (say, DaimlerChrysler or Volkswagen), then it would be wrong. In fact, a Congressional investigation into Volkwswagen’s WWII activities, especially if done just to pick an open wound, would be terribly wrong.

    On the other hand, a resolution reinforcing the US policy of cooperating with Israelis to find ex-SS officers and deport them so that they can be charged with war crimes would (1) be a resolution related to the Holocaust, and (2) be timely ( ).

  8. Adel Says:

    …restore the U.S.’s “moral authority”? huh?!

  9. Glenn Says:

    First, can you say American Indians? Second, “moral” usage by Congress is questionable.

  10. deborah Says:

    For the UNITED STATES, of all countries, to think it has the moral authority to chastize another country for genocidal actions is, at best, laughable - and at worst, makes millions of dead American Indians roll over in their (unmarked) graves. We live ones aren’t too amused, either. I’d love to see Turkey come back with a resolution to chastize the US for all-out genocide (and we are talking cash bounties for Indian scalps, Congressional resolutions to do so, not to mention simply permission to kill by example) against indigenous peoples in what is now the U.S. This is besides the fact that the U.S.’s timing of the critique is suicidal and puts our increasingly strained troops at even greater risk. No, acknowledging and calling out genocide is not a bad thing. Pretending like the U.S. wasn’t built on the blood and bones of millions of indigenous people is, however, a serious moral failing. And don’t tell me it was all too long ago to matter - take a look at urban Indian populations and reservation populations to see who’s still paying the price, and who is still benefiting. Glenn, can you say “hypocritical”?

  11. Michael Says:

    If congress wants to restore our moral compass, maybe they should start with their own. At the very least, they should start within our own country. Let’s stop sweeping the genocide against native americans under the rug and pass a resolution on that issue.

  12. James Says:

    So really, why not pass a resolution condeming Daimler for producing Panzer tanks during WWII? And what about the US government vs. the Native Americans? Did we pass out blankets infested with small pox? Of course we did. Was it genocide? Definitely. If the only purpose of this resolution is to restore the moral authority of the USA (as Senator Lantos says), then I must ask: ARE YOU NUTS? The real problem is that the US feels it should HAVE moral authority. Moral authority is what Theocracies are founded on, so when morality becomes a political adgenda, you are well on your way to a Theocracy, NOT a Democrary. OK, OK, so if the USA must have moral authority, what would restore it? Perhaps agreeing with the Geneva Convention on the use of torture, or signing the Kyoto Protocol, or closing the Guantanimo Bay detention camp. You know, stop doing the things we do that are truly morally depraved. Or better yet, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE GENOCIDE CURRENTLY GOING ON IN THE SUDAN…HELLO? ANYBODY WITH MORALS HOME?

  13. Susan Says:

    James, you took the exact words out of my mouth! Why spend all this time on a genocide that took place almost a century ago when we have one going on right now in Darfur!
    I’d be much more impressed with a resolution that condemns Sudan and any of their trading partners for the genocide that has continued there for years! And a condemnation for us and the rest of the world for standing by and letting it happen! Whatever happened to that promise after the Holocaust that we would never let that kind of mass murder happen again?

    And speaking of moral authority, I think those words coming from Congress are laughable! Maybe when congresspeople and senators clean up their act (stop accepting bribes, acting out in men’s rooms and just being overall sleazes), then they might have a right to speak to others about moral authority. But I highly doubt that will ever happen. They can’t even live up to their own promises of ethics reform!

  14. Stelios Says:

    I applaud Congress for this step. The Germans admitted their error of the Holocaust during WWII. The Turkish people should pay for their atrocities. It wasn’t the Aremnians raping the women and children but the Turkish soldiers. Raping women in front of their children, raping young girls in front of their parents and then impaling them. Countless number of people were beheaded and the Turkish soldiers stood proudly with the heads stuck on stakes. The Aremians did not deserve this anymore than the Greeks deserved 400 years of slavery under the Turkish sword. The Turkish have always been a savage race. So many Greeks were skinned alive, roasted alive, hung in village squares and beheaded. The Turks burned the Greek churches and schools. They took Agia Sophia in Constantinople, the center point of the Byzantine Emprire, and the most beautiful Greek Orthodoz shrine in the world and turned it into a mosque, forbidding Greeks to worship there. They burned Smyrna to the point where no structures remained. Tens of thousands of Greeks had to leave as refugees to escape the death sentences. American ships stood idling by as Smyrna burned and people jumped into any boat available to flee. People who say that 80 years have passed, or who cares about the Armenians or idiots like Nihal who defend the Turks have no moral sense. Only a Turk would defend these atrocities. History has proven the atrocities of the Turks. They have been and always will be a savage society.

  15. truthseeker Says:

    People…The fact of the matter is we do recognize what happened to Native Americans. Turkey, on the other hand, denies that Armenians ever lived there; it passed a law banning having Armenian names; changes names of towns, rivers, lakes, even domestic animals to wipe out any trace of Armenian existence and bans any mention of Armenia or Armenians. All historical buildings are now identified as “Seljuk” or something or another, and now, it has reached a point of calling this event “arguable” or “leave it to historians.” This is the reason why Armenians have been fighting for recognition of the genocide. 20% of the area of modern Turkey was of Armenian population (which was Historical Armenia).

    The real issue for Turkey is its fear that Armenian descendants, like me, who have deeds to property will come back and reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Turkey, at one time, stole all bank assets, killed off the population and even made life insurance claims against the American Government for claims written by New York Life to collect saying “all Armenians are dead, their heirs are dead, and so it all escheats to the State.” Go check out the National Archives for more information. This injustice was swept under the rug because of geopolitics for far too long. We must fight to preserve history.

  16. Stelios Says:

    I agree with truthseeker. As a Greek, the flame of freedom is deeply embedded in me and my family. Greece has been struggling with Turkey to take back land taken from it. Turkey has claimed much property belonging to Greeks over many generations. Greece was never wiped off the map the same way as Armenia but the Greeks and Armenians feel the same grief for each other because both have experienced the same conflict. It’s true that America has resocnized that slavery was wrong. Even the Germans admitted that their errors in allowing the Holocaust of WWII. The Armenian genocide was denounced by many prominent people of the world including Theodore Roosevelt and henry Morgenthau, the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. History does not lie. And as to the idiot’s claims to let the historians sort it out….well, that just proves the ignorance of today’s world.

  17. Arthur Says:

    So many of you can just lash out about why they should not pass this resolution when the amount of reasons why it should pass surpasses it.

    Z, how can you make comments about armenians were crushed because they wanted independence. Read up on your history and then put in your two cents. The northern territory of Turkey WAS Armenia. All the towns and villages have Armenian names to this day. Majority of those areas are deserted and all that lays there is Armenian churches. Churches that were built in 301A.D. Armenians were the first Christians and they were slaughtered because they would not convert from Christianity to Muslim.

    Armenian men did not rape Turkish women, it was the other way around and there is proof. The Armenian men were slaughtered and there heads were cut off and placed all over town. The women were raped and exiled with the children. Majority of the children and women that survived had survived by eating pomegranate. The only time any Turks died was when they were unable to defeat a northern village Musalair. The reason to that was because the word had reached to the town that the Turks are slaughtering the Armenians so the village men were prepared. This did not occur just over night, the Turks attacked silently at night so no Armenian would be aware of what is going on. There is so much more details to this but limited to this blog. So next time if you are going to comment about if this is true or not, please educate yourself first.

    As for the Native Indians or any nation who suffered a genocide should not go untold or recognized. For the future of humanity. History always repeats itself and our children’s children should know exactly what has happened in the past. I am from California and I know many Native American Indians and they really do not push on the subject to hard because the government keeps them quite. Keeps them quite by assisting them in building Casinos which brings these tribes billions of dollars. Personally, I believe that is blackmailing to keep them quite.

    When Hitler began placing the Jewish people in camps, he compared this to the Armenian genocide and said “Our strength lies in our intensive attacks and our barbarity…After all, who today remembers the genocide of the Armenians?”. When the Genocide began, Europe was well aware at the time and so was the United States. There is proof that a letter was sent to the President. With everyone so occupied with the War at the time, there was no help sent.

    Like I said to many details and proof for this blog. When both President Bush’s were campaigning they pushed real hard on the subject of the Armenian Genocide that they will fight for it if they were elected President. Now look at President Bush, stating that he feels bad for what has happen in the past BUT it is not worth passing the resolution due to ties with Turkey! Now that sounds like….. I will leave it at that.

  18. Arthur Says:

    Stelios is completely correct!!! To add along with Greeks and Armenians, the Kurds were also slaughtered by the Empire.

  19. Phyllis Says:

    What I find ridiculous, is that anyone thinks an American law should be passed interpreting the history of another country. Why can’t people just make their opinions known through publishing, speaking etc. Why does it have to become part of our law? Our constitution was designed to be simple, not have our lawbooks bogged down with resolutions passing judgements on governments that don’t even exist any more.

  20. Roger Rogers Says:

    The decision of U.S. Congress to put to a vote next month the question of Armenian genocide is laudable. George Bush wanted to kill the project because of strategic reasons; he claimed that he sympathises with the Armenians but he cannot afford to irk Turkey. So, the morale of the story is that when political allies commit genocides, one has to keep mum because of political expediency. If political adversaries commit genocide ( even to the extent of only a thousandth of the … Turkish record - like the alleged one in Kosovo by Milosevic ) then not only does one name it as such, but also starts … a war to rectify the injustice ! And if I might risk a prediction, then so much about the Turkish “repercussions”. A big nothing will happen ! A nation that is world champion in per capita trade deficit will not even think of messing up with its chief creditor. Or put differently ; a barking dog does not bite !

  21. Glenn Says:


    “Glenn, can you say “hypocritical”�?”

    That was my point.

  22. Stelios Says:

    Well, Phyllis, Turkey made certain the fact that the Armenian government isn’t around anymore.
    This resolution will not affect the American people’s laws.

  23. James Says:

    OK. So how far do we go back to condem genocide? And what constitutes genocide? How about what Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and the Israeli army did in the Sabra & Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982? How about the Spanish Inquisition? How about the Salem witch hunts? How about what Stalin did during his reign of terror? What about Pol Pot? Or the Moors? How about the Roman Catholic Church and the Crusades? How about the Roman Empire? What about Alexander the Great? How about the fire bombing of Tokyo, which incidentally, killed more people than the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki COMBINED? How about the fire bombing of Dresden? What about not living in the past? I know the Greeks hate the Turks, always have, always will. Asking a Greek about a Turk is like asking a Jew about Hitler.


    “Only the winners get to decide what constiututes a war crime.”

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