One Little Word

Rick Moran
Is there a difference between "mass killings" and genocide?

There is if you're the
Turkish government:

A House panel voted yesterday to approve calling the mass killings of Armenians that began in 1915 genocide, defying the White House, which warned that the measure could damage U.S.-Turkey relations.

The Foreign Affairs Committee passed the nonbinding resolution on a 27 to 21 bipartisan vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has promised she will bring the resolution to the full House for a vote.

Turkey, one of Washington's most staunch Islamic allies, lobbied hard to kill the measure, launching a multimillion dollar campaign and threatening to curtail its cooperation in the Iraq war.

President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates were joined by eight former secretaries of state and three former defense secretaries in condemning the proposal.

"This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror," Bush told reporters in the White House Rose Garden yesterday.
Turkey fears that the descendants of victims of the Armenian Genocide will seek reparations. So far, 21 nations have passed similar resolutions stating that the mass deportation and resulting slaughter of Ottoman Christians - most of whom were Armenian - was planned and executed by the government of Turkey.

Headed at the time by the "Young Turks" who had taken Turkey to war on the side of the Central powers, the tensions between the Muslim middle class and Christian upper class was exacerbated by the belief that the Armenians were siding with the Allies.

In May of 1915, a "Temporary Law of Deportation" was passed that authorized the government to deport anyone they considered a national security risk. Later legislation gave the government the authority to confiscate property belonging to those being deported.

Through a combination of mass starvation and numerous massacres, it is estimated the Turkish government murdered up to 1.5 million Armenians.

Turkey is threatening all sorts of dire consequences that would flow from the passage of this measure in the House.  It begs the question; should conscience trump national interest?

It is not an easy decision as evidenced by the fact that several original co-sponsors of the Genocide Bill have dropped their support as a result of the warnings by the White House and foreign policy establishment. To her credit, Speaker Pelosi has not lobbied one way or the other for the resolution, leaving it up to the individual member's conscience whether they will support it or not.

All because of one, little, word...
Is there a difference between "mass killings" and genocide?

There is if you're the
Turkish government:

A House panel voted yesterday to approve calling the mass killings of Armenians that began in 1915 genocide, defying the White House, which warned that the measure could damage U.S.-Turkey relations.

The Foreign Affairs Committee passed the nonbinding resolution on a 27 to 21 bipartisan vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has promised she will bring the resolution to the full House for a vote.

Turkey, one of Washington's most staunch Islamic allies, lobbied hard to kill the measure, launching a multimillion dollar campaign and threatening to curtail its cooperation in the Iraq war.

President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates were joined by eight former secretaries of state and three former defense secretaries in condemning the proposal.

"This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror," Bush told reporters in the White House Rose Garden yesterday.
Turkey fears that the descendants of victims of the Armenian Genocide will seek reparations. So far, 21 nations have passed similar resolutions stating that the mass deportation and resulting slaughter of Ottoman Christians - most of whom were Armenian - was planned and executed by the government of Turkey.

Headed at the time by the "Young Turks" who had taken Turkey to war on the side of the Central powers, the tensions between the Muslim middle class and Christian upper class was exacerbated by the belief that the Armenians were siding with the Allies.

In May of 1915, a "Temporary Law of Deportation" was passed that authorized the government to deport anyone they considered a national security risk. Later legislation gave the government the authority to confiscate property belonging to those being deported.

Through a combination of mass starvation and numerous massacres, it is estimated the Turkish government murdered up to 1.5 million Armenians.

Turkey is threatening all sorts of dire consequences that would flow from the passage of this measure in the House.  It begs the question; should conscience trump national interest?

It is not an easy decision as evidenced by the fact that several original co-sponsors of the Genocide Bill have dropped their support as a result of the warnings by the White House and foreign policy establishment. To her credit, Speaker Pelosi has not lobbied one way or the other for the resolution, leaving it up to the individual member's conscience whether they will support it or not.

All because of one, little, word...