Perspectives on the Armenian Genocide Resolution,
For those who may not have been following this issue, this is a house resolution that just passed committee and is scheduled to be brought to the full house within weeks. It will not go to the Senate, as being a resolution it has no force of law and will be "merely" a statement of the sentiment of a majority of the 435 members of this body. The house passes dozens of these resolutions to satisfy its constituents every month, from celebrating the founding of a country, to condemning various actions against civil liberties.
These resolutions are extra-Constitutional actions, not included in Article One as a delegated authority of Congress. Normally they are innocuous, a symbolic earmark to a district's group that the other members go along with so they will get their own approved. But this is different, as best articulated in this Editorial in the Washington Post.
I found it interesting that the editorial mentioned eight previous secretaries of state, including democrats such as Madeleine K. Albright, oppose this resolution. Before reading this editorial I had submitted a diary to Dailykos expressing some of the same sentiments, where the hostility and personal assaults actually surprised me. To the cabal at Dailykos, my being against this resolution meant that I had no sympathy for those Armenians who were slaughtered. Actually reading what I had to say was of no interest to them, since it would only have challenged their sense of righteousness.
I will indulge in a short diversion here with a quote from this OpEd from Doris Lessing about Political Correctness, that applies to the version of this practiced on Dailykos.
A successor to “commitment” is “raising consciousness.” This is double-edged. The people whose consciousness is being raised may be given information they most desperately lack and need, may be given moral support they need. But the process nearly always means that the pupil gets only the propaganda the instructor approves of. “Raising consciousness,” like “commitment,” like “political correctness,” is a continuation of that old bully, the party line.
For every woman or man who is quietly and sensibly using the idea (of political correctness) to examine our assumptions, there are 20 rabble-rousers whose real motive is desire for power over others, no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.
So, Dailykos was not interested in exactly why I and Madeline Albright, and even Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, felt that this resolution smacked of cynicism and the worst of political pandering. So, I tried another angle, that just might connect with the Dailykos reader, pointing out that their party, the Democrats are about to fall into a carefully planned trap laid by the Republican Party. It was based on George Stephanopoulos' interview on This Week with Nancy Pelosi,
I will paraphrase, but the entire transcript should soon be available for those who want to validate this. He asked her why she is going to bring this resolution to the full house when she has been told by the President that this would harm our relations with Turkey.
Her response was stunning, saying that although the President talks to her frequently he never specifically requested that she not pursue this resolution. And then she said something even more intriguing. She had a message to contact Defense Secretary Gates on the same subject, but before she could return the call, another message was sent not to call him. Why would he choose not to make the case that he has made to the public, to the person who could actually control the outcome?
Could it be that Republicans want this resolution to pass, and welcome any response, any reaction from Turkey that will impede the war effort in Iraq. It will be the perfect example of the Democrats not caring about the troops and wanting us to lose in Iraq. This will be fodder for the right wing, that will have the advantage of being true. It will not be an ad from an independent Moveon.org, or a comment from a radio personality, it will be the votes of the elected members of congress.
Perhaps the principles of Karl Rove and Lee Atwater are still reverberating in the Bush White House. They figure that the administration will be able to deflect the Turkish response to this resolution, but the Democratic Party will not be able to get around what this did for the war effort. While the party refuses, or is unable, to perform it's constitutional mandate to decide whether to defund this war, the House does take an action that will harm the effectiveness of the war effort.
As someone who is deeply opposed to this Bush incarnation of Republicanism, I am sickened by the support of this resolution, and the refusal of the party's leaders to fully realize the self inflicted harm that it will cause. As far as the cabal of Dailykos participants who see expression of my opinion , which happens to be that of many Democrats, as an occasion for personal abuse, I can only shake my head.
This comment from the Dailykos diary describes three previous resolutions that reference the Armenian killings as Genocide. This makes the current resolution even less justifiable.
It's been done before, why do it again?
To argue that we're "finally" going to recognize genocide is disingenous. The House has passed two resolutions that do exactly the same thing, which is virtually nothing: ask the president to please talk about Armenian genocide every year on April 24:
House Joint Resolution 148, adopted on April 8, 1975, resolved: `[t]hat April 24, 1975, is hereby designated as `National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man', and the President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such day as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially those of Armenian ancestry . . .'.
House Joint Resolution 247, adopted on September 10, 1984, resolved: `[t]hat April 24, 1985, is hereby designated as `National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man', and the President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such day as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially the one and one-half million people of Armenian ancestry . . .'.
On June 5, 1996, the House of Representatives adopted an amendment to House Bill 3540 (the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1997) to reduce aid to Turkey by $3,000,000 (an estimate of its payment of lobbying fees in the United States) until the Turkish Government acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and took steps to honor the memory of its victims.
by cadejo4 on Mon Oct 15, 2007 at 11:08:29 AM PDT