Washington Neo-cons Enabling Turkey’s Denialist Strategy
Friday February 16, 2007
By Appo Jabarian Executive Publisher/Managing Editor USA Armenian Life Magazine Hye Kiank Armenian Weekly
Are members of the U.S. Congress being held hostage by the Taliban or Al-Qaeda ?
No ! But it seems they are being held hostage by the Ankara-based Turkish denialists of the Armenian Genocide, with help from their neo-con American friends at the U.S. State Department and other circles.
In a Feb. 12 article, posted on Turkishpress.com and titled "Man-to-man Marking," Turkish daily SABAH wrote : "Ankara is getting prepared for a historical ’invasion’ of Washington to block the bill on the so-called Armenian genocide, which is expected to be adopted at U.S. Congress in April."
According to various reports, dozens of Turkish parliamentarians and high government officials, including Foreign Minister Gul, and Army Chief of Staff Buyukanit, are scheduled to swarm all over Washington, to lobby, "bribe", and threaten those members who even dare to discuss the issue of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923."
They are not alone in carrying out their mission in effectively scaring the Americans into surrender. Individuals like Mathew Bryza, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and another State Dept. official Daniel Fried and their superiors, are all too willing to amplify the so-called "Turkish Threats."
In a Feb. 15 commentary, titled "U.S. Officials More Worried about Turkish Feelings than Genocide," Harut Sassounian, Publisher of The California Courier, wrote : "Armenian Americans are more insulted by the offensive attitude of the Bush administration toward the Armenian Genocide than they are by Turkey’s refusal to acknowledge it. They wonder why the leaders of this great country are more worried about appeasing an unreliable foreign power than the pain and suffering of their own citizens of Armenian origin who are the descendants of the survivors of that genocide ; why U.S. officials, ignoring the proven facts of the Armenian Genocide, are calling for yet another study similar to the one demanded by the Iranian President on the Holocaust ; and why do they allow Turkey to bully the U.S. by meaningless threats ?"
Sassounian quotes Mr. Bryza as saying in response to questions from Turkish reporters on Feb. 1, 2007 : "’Our position on [the congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide] is that our policy remains of course unchanged. We don’t believe that political statements or diplomatic statements are the appropriate way to resolve this issue of how to refer to these horrible events of 1915. I’m sure we all agree that what happened was a horrible tragedy. It’s terrible. It’s an issue that has so many sides, so many complicated angles, so many differing points of view that politicians can’t do it justice by simply making a determination. What we would like to see happen is that learned people, everyday common people, professors, philosophers, historians have a chance to sit down and have a candid discussion over time for an extended period that gets at the core of what happened and allows the societies of Turkey and Armenia to reconcile themselves with their pasts and with each other. You can’t do that through a political decision.’"
Sassounian also reported : "The most reprehensible comment was the one made by Dan Fried when he said : ’The Armenian Genocide ’resolution will damage U.S.-Turkish relations for no good purpose !’ Both he and Bryza seem more concerned about catering to Turkish sensitivities than the fact that an entire nation was almost wiped out. They seem to forget that this congressional resolution has more to do with trying to reaffirm America’s past acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide than bringing pressure to bear upon Turkey. It is high time for these U.S. officials to stop playing shameless political games and start calling the genocide by its true name."
For a second, let’s imagine that contemporary Germany has not yet acknowledged the Jewish Holocaust, committed by its predecessor the Nazi regime of 1933-1945. Of course, despite the Nuremberg Trials, no amends are yet made to the Jews by today’s Germany.
I wonder, how millions of American Jews and their neo-con friends would have felt if Mr. Bryza would have dared to say : "Our position on [the congressional resolution on the Jewish Holocaust] is that our policy remains of course unchanged. We don’t believe that political statements or diplomatic statements are the appropriate way to resolve this issue of how to refer to these horrible events of 1933-1945. I’m sure we all agree that what happened was a horrible tragedy. It’s terrible. It’s an issue that has so many sides, so many complicated angles, so many differing points of view that politicians can’t do it justice by simply making a determination. What we would like to see happen is that learned people, everyday common people, professors, philosophers, historians have a chance to sit down and have a candid discussion over time for an extended period that gets at the core of what happened and allows the societies of Germany and Israel to reconcile themselves with their pasts and with each other. You can’t do that through a political decision.’"
American Jews know too well that Nazi Germany would have never admitted its genocidal crimes against innocent and defenseless Jewish men, women, children, and the elderly ; and they would have never volunteered to make any amends to the Jewish people, without the enormous pressure exerted by the United States.
The Armenian Americans know too well that the Ottoman Turkey and its successor Turkey have never and will never admit to the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923) ; and they never volunteer to make any amends to the Armenian people without the enormous pressure that only the States can exert.
Armenian Americans also know too well that the facts of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Turkish Regimes was widely known throughout the world while it was taking place. World newspapers are full of literally thousands of articles affirming this fact. The great people of the United States literally raised millions in 1915-1923 dollars to help the Armenian victims.
But soon after the ending of WWI, the Allied powers, under the leadership of the United States, failed to force Turkey to return the forcibly Turkish-occupied lands of Western Armenia, and to pay reparations to the Armenians for personal and real properties, confiscated from them.
The United States and other key nations such as Russia, France, Italy and the Great Britain have already failed in their duties to ratify and implement the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres (and the section on Armenia) and to force Turkey to abide by it. According to the ARTICLE 89 of the treaty, "Turkey and Armenia as well as the other High Contracting Parties agree to submit to the arbitration of the President of the United States of America the question of the frontier to be fixed between Turkey and Armenia in the vilayets of Erzerum, Trebizond, Van and Bitlis, and to accept his decision thereupon, as well as any stipulations he may prescribe as to access for Armenia to the sea, and as to the demilitarisation of any portion of Turkish territory adjacent to the said frontier."
America did not deliver on its promises and Turkey escaped unpunished. And now, feeling stronger, Turkey has the gall to threaten its American ally, because, it feels that the State of Israel is firmly in its corner. That’s why, it is clearly understood that the America Israel Political Action Committee, and its neo-con allies in Washington and elsewhere, are not willing to let go of their obstinate belief that Turkey’s dismemberment will weaken Israel. It’s also understood that the unrighteous but stable Turkey is far better than disorganized and snowballing disintegration.
In the meantime, the United States Congress should be left free to exercise its moral duty to reaffirm its 1916 recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
AIPAC and friends should stop making America and Armenia the sacrificial lamb for the State of Israel. How can a people, that has suffered genocide deny the genocide of another people for the sake of making strategic partners ?
In Turkey they cut off debate by assassinating even those who dare start a dialogue about the Armenian Genocide. These same forces have now come to our United States to stifle freedom of speech even in the Congress !
General Buyukanit of Turkey recently met with Cong. Lantos (D) to remind him that the possible acceptance by the US Congress of the Armenian Genocide bill could have a serious impact on relations between Turkey and the US, including logistical support which has been extended thus far by Turkey to US forces fighting in Iraq.
But thank God America still has righteous Congressmen. Frank Pallone and Joe Knollenberg, Co-Chairs of the Armenian Caucus warned to Foreign Relations Chair Lantos not to yield to such "an unabashed threat."
Times are getting interesting. Stay tuned and committed.
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