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Battle Over History

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Black Dog of Fate:  On March 1st CBS aired Battle Over History, with Peter Balakian (author of the excellent work on the Armenian Genocide, Black Dog of Fate):

Today the United States House Panel voted to label the “genocide” what it was…genocide. Turks are furious (only the asshole Turks). There are cool Turks like Orhan Pamuk and the supporters of murdered journalist  Hrant Dink.   Obama is now in office, and he has said that it is time to stop coddling genocide-deniers. Let’s hope this is so.

My October 12, 2007, letter to the Seattle Times: Armenian resolution Trapped in history

Editor, The Times:

According to “Armenian resolution splits state’s House delegation“ [Times, Local News, Oct. 10], President Bush is urging Congress to reject legislation that would affirm that 1.5 million Armenians killed around the time of World War I were victims of genocide.

That this genocide happened is without doubt. The documentation and evidence, the photos, the accounts of survivors are recorded in history and are as irrefutable as the evidence of the Holocaust. And thus passing this measure, which the House Foreign Affairs Committee is voting on, is the right course of action.

President Bush’s reasons why he is against this measure are all valid. A vote acknowledging Turkey’s participation in genocide would damage relations. Turkey is strategic to our ongoing involvement in Iraq. And yet, isn’t the elimination of human atrocity the only important reason we are involved in the Middle East?

How can anyone within the Bush administration decry or accuse former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s government of genocide concerning the Kurds or others and at the same time help suppress the truth of the horrors perpetrated against the Armenians. Or, for that matter, how could the United States condemn any government for any human rights crime? Would we consider diplomatic relations with a German government that continued to deny the Holocaust?

Even Hitler, in defending his decision to invade Poland, said, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians.” Hitler thought — and was right to a degree — that no one cares about the horrors of the past. Bush’s rejection, in a sense, would prove Hitler correct and be a tragic mistake.

—      Caleb Powell, Seattle

Update:  April 24, 2014. Obama breaks promise (again) to commemorate Armenian genocide

Written by Caleb Powell

March 4, 2010 at 6:48 pm