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Thursday, October 11, 2007

acknowledging the Armenian genocide; update 2

Original post below updates...
update: post at Get Religion with good links
update 2: Israel expresses concern over Turkish-Armenian massacre dispute at Int. Herald Trib. choice quotes...
The debate in Washington over the World I massacre of Armenians has put Israel in an uncomfortable position. Turkey is a key Israeli ally and one of its few friends in the Muslim world. At the same time, Israel was built in the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust, and genocide is an extremely sensitive topic....Israel has acknowledged that massacres were perpetrated against the Armenians and expressed sympathy for their suffering. But the government has stopped short of calling it genocide.Regev said Thursday "there is no change" in Israel's policy.Earlier this year, the parliament shelved a proposal for a discussion on the Armenian genocide at the request of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. At the time, Livni expressed concern the issue could destabilize ties with Turkey.
This makes the U.S. looking like it has the moral high ground. I can't believe Israel can waffle on genocide.

Meanwhile Turkey has recalled its ambassador from the U.S.

Original post:
Apparently the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has approved a bill to describe the Armenian atrocities at the hands of the Young Turks government at the turn of the century as a "genocide." Here is the news piece at Yahoo Turkey blasts Armenian genocide bill.
Just last night I read Ben Kiernan's chapter on it in Blood and Soil (previous blog a book posts). It was well documented but really short compared to the earlier chapters. His documentation included the court martial report of those involved and convicted in the Turkish army as well as government insider statements. The procedure was forced relocation that was interrupted mid-move by wholesale slaughter. Some relocation was by ship interrupted by mass drowning. Apparently some young children were preserved for domestic slavery or sexual exploitation.

The Turks as well as the Kurds oppressed the Armenians. In that time Iraq was part of Turkey. In the current situation, the U.S. is conflicted because Turkey is a NATO ally and provides access to Iraq through an air base. But the U.S. rarely acts on truth when inconvenient. Interesting fact at the end of the report, "After France voted last year to make it a crime to deny the killings were genocide, the Turkish government ended its military ties with that country." France used to dominate Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century, and many Young Turk writings were in French.

Also of interest, part of the Young Turk triumvirate, Enver Pasha, was a military attaché in Germany. Kiernan believes he was aware of the German genocide in south west Africa. He was pro-German and brought in many German officers to assist in running the army.

Previous posts on the Armenian genocide, genocide (general), atrocities, human rights, history,

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