Make that 28 Foolish Americans

 

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Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 11:55pm

Make that 28 Foolish Americans

From 1915-1917, hundreds of thousands to 1.5 million Armenian people were massacred by the government of what is now Turkey.  The Ottoman Empire was still in place and the Young Turks, the ruling party, decided to systematically eliminate Armenian citizens from the land.  It is one of the first documented cases of genocide and one of the worst in modern history.

 

Twenty-two countries have officially recognized the killings of these Armenian people as genocide.  However, some of the most powerful nations in the world, including the United States, Great Britain, and Israel, have yet to categorize the events as genocide.  Despite the lack of recognition from the U.S. federal government, 40 out of 50 U.S. states identify the murders as genocide.  Recognizing the Armenian massacre as genocide is a vitally important distinction because it draws attention to the historical events and helps prevent it from happening again.

 

All this brings us to today.  The Foreign Affairs committee in the House of Representatives voted today by a 27-21 margin to classify the Armenian massacre as genocide.  It should've been a simple gesture to recognize historical facts, but it was not taken well by the current government of Turkey.

 

The Turkish government essentially flipped out, claiming that the massacre wasn't a genocide because the number of people killed was inaccurate.  They also claimed that the deaths were a result of a civil war.  They failed to mention that Armenian citizens in the Ottoman Empire were not even allowed to possess weapons.

 

Rather than acknowledge the obvious, Turkey decided to call the 27 Congressmen that voted for the resolution as foolish.  They have also used this event as an excuse to escalate tensions with the Kurds in Northern Iraq.  If the Turks do attack, you can bet that they will blame the Americans.

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