Let me get this straight: the House Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday labeled Turkey a country that fosters “genocide” for acts of barbarism committed around 1915 by the failing Ottoman Empire which has nothing to do with Turkey today. Isn’t this like convening a Nazi war crimes trial in Berlin today and putting the leadership of Germany on the stand?
Despite the fact that the President of the United States warned the House committee that their vote may harm relations with one of the key (and one of the ONLY predominately Islamic) U.S. allies in the war against terror, the committee voted to label Turkey a nation that supports genocide.
Now Ankara has withdrawn its ambassador from Washington.
Proud now, Mister Lantos?
Rep. Tom Lantos, the Chairman of the committee and several others are good and honorable men; and they have been under intense pressure from their Armenian-American constituents, most of whom reside in California, Nancy Pelosi’s home state.
Have we lost sight of the “big picture” to gain local state votes?
Is Mr. Lantos just seeking Armenian-American votes or does he really care about our men and women fighting a war; and the support that sustains them via Turkey?
I have a few problems with the committee’s actions.
First, both sides engaged in horrendous acts of lawlessness as the Ottoman Empire dissolved and World War I transpired. The facts are that evil was rampant on both sides and it is difficult to tell which side was worse. Second, the label of “genocide” now, almost 100 years later, gains us what? A good feeling? And third, everyone knew this labeling would offend Turkey; an ally we can ill afford to lose. Seventy percent of U.S. supplies going to the war zone go through Turkey. Finally, this act has the potential to harmfully impact U.S. troops engaged in the field.
Even though we usually stand with human rights advocates foursquare, we deplore this committee action.
Which brings us to former President Jimmy Carter.
Proclaiming to the world that the U.S. has committed torture gains what?
The former president has just supported a position fostered by Osama bin Laden and others among the people who want to destroy America. Even if Mister Carter’s well intentioned accusations are accurate; it would have been better to hold fire until after the smoke of war cleared. Mister Carter, instead, while hawking his book on radio and TV shows, has sided with the terrorists and the enemy.
Ann Coulter has been accused of making bombastic statements while selling her latest book. Now, knowingly or unknowingly, it doesn’t matter, you can add Jimmy Carter to Ann’s club. And didn’t President Carter draw a lot of heat when his last book laid out a very problematic account of the Middle East?
President Carter is an honorable man; but he himself admits he was broke when he left the White House so he wrote a book.
Sometimes good intentions and a big heart can stand in the way of the nation’s objectives.
If we cannot stand together a little better on the big issues, we cannot beat Al Qaeda. Or anyone else.
–Submitted to Peace and Freedom by a concerned citizen.