Turkey and the House
No way to treat a friend
In what was a remarkably foolish gesture, in our opinion, the United States House of Representative’s Foreign Affairs Committee, under the leadership of Tom Lantos [D-CA] and with the full support of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi [D-CA], passed a non- binding resolution declaring Turkey, then known as the Ottoman Empire, guilty of genocide of the Armenian people in 1915..
Why after 92 years was it necessary to pass a NON-BINDING RESOLUTION [how gutless does that sound?], the immediate effect of which will be to drive an emotional wedge between the United States and one of its staunchest allies, Turkey?
Turkey plays an important role in the support of our troops in Iraq. Turkey has stood firmly with the United States, its troops fighting side by side with our troops from the Korean War through the Cold War and continuing through the international war on terror. Turkey knows a great deal about fighting terrorists too. The Kurdish Workers Party [PKK] has been killing innocent Turks for years, in their desire to create an independent Kurdish state, made up partially from sections of Eastern Turkey. As recently as a week ago fifteen young Turkish soldiers were murdered by Kurdish insurgents who then fled back to Iraq. This was not the first time something like this has happened but this particular attack outraged the entire country of Turkey but received no news coverage here in the United States of America. This latest attack may prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back and may prove to be the reason that Turkey will decide to invade Northern Iraq to find and kill those responsible.
President Bush has been able to keep the incursion of Turkey into Iraq from happening until now. It is simply unbelievable to us that the Democratic Party including those running for the office of President, who claim to know how to talk to our allies and to be able to establish a more intelligent and friendly foreign policy, have managed to do quite the opposite in this instance. If poking our ally, Turkey, in the eye with the label “genocide” is their idea of trying to make our country more popular, then not only are they incompetent but profoundly stupid.
Turkey is one of the largest Muslim countries in the world and is exactly the type of free government Americans would like to see emulated. We should be cultivating Turkey and asking those who know it best from the inside to use their influence throughout the turbulent Middle East with the troublesome Muslim regimes. We should not be looking to turn Turkey against the United States..
Similarly Jews throughout the world must always remember Turkey’s long history of treating the Jewish people with respect and friendship. When the Jews were chased from the Iberian Peninsula during the Spanish Inquisition, the Ottoman Empire, which is now modern day Turkey, welcomed our ancestors. Turkey voted for Israel to become a state in 1948 and maintains excellent relations with Israel.
Turkey is a strong, proud, independent, vibrant and free country. For our Congress to pass “Non-Binding Resolutions” that will turn this ally against us is political lunacy.
Let us also take a moment to examine the question of genocide … to which Jewish people, more than perhaps any other people, is sensitive to. Jews are, and should be, ever vigilant to expose genocide and ensure that it never happens again to any people anywhere on earth. In 1915, Turkey, then the Ottoman Empire, was involved in World War I [fighting against the Allied Forces of Russia, Great Britain and France] and then in 1919 it fought its war for independence. During the latter conflict it was fighting for its survival against the combined armies of Great Britain, France, Greece and Italy. The Turkish people fighting for their independence were unsure if the Armenians among them would fight with them or against them. The Armenians who lost their lives from 1915 to 1923, according to the Armenian National Institute numbered 1.5 million. Turkey claims, based on its tax records, that only 1.65 million Armenians, at most, lived in Turkey at that time. Turkey estimated that that out of 300,000 Armenians who perished during the war, relocation was the major cause of death, while others succumbed to disease such as typhoid or died of natural causes. During the same period 1.3 million Turks also died.
According to American diplomats at that time the Armenian deaths were considered to be genocide. According to the British Government Crown Prosecutor who examined the matter in July 1921, there was a lack of evidence to open a case of genocide against Turkey. Similarly, the UN General Assembly in 1948 believed genocide did not occur since Turkey did not exhibit racial hatred, one of the factors used to determine genocide. It is a fact, however, that a Turkish Military Tribunal on July 5, 1919 found Prime Minister Talaat Pasha, Minister of War, Enver, Minister of the Navy, Djemal and Minister of Education, Dr. Mazim guilty of committing countless crimes and sentenced them to death [in absentia].
Since the late 1990’s, on many occasions,Turkey has called for scholarly conferences to help determine whether in fact genocide did occur. Armenian representatives have consistently declined to participate in any such conferences. Instead they chose to go to the United States Congress and lobby there for Turkey to be declared guilty of genocide.
We do not have to mention that the only group with a lower approval rating at this time than President Bush is the U.S. Congress … and with good reason. It consists of political opportunists who care more about themselves than about our people, our country and especially about the truth.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, Turkey is a true friend, a long time friend and a proven friend of the United States. What happened from 1915 to 1923 deserves to be discussed and understood more completely by authorities all over the world. Take our advice, and we believe we speak for the majority of the American people, and amend this resolution to read as follows:
We resolve that Turkey is a friend of the United States.
We urge the study of what occurred from 1915 to 1923 regarding the deaths of many Armenian people in order to learn how such tragedies can be avoided in the future.
That is how we in America treat our friends.